Why teen kills

We know that after the attack for two weeks and a possible re similar cases. That is why psychologists are some limitations and features of lighting in these types of situations, not to provoke a wave of repetitions. A similar phenomenon is described in the suicide-studying is called “Werther effect”, when the perfect and romanticized, described suicide causes a wave (duration up to three months) of repeated suicides, up to the selected method. Attacks on schools comes a similar story. Glorification of the situation and its way can be dangerous.

A scene from the movie “Elephant”

  • Charm of death and a teenager
  • The student took up arms. What to do?
  • When children say, “I Blew up that school!”
  • Discussing social networking acute psychosis, we forget about the real risks
  • The attack in school – why is happen and how to escape

Cyril Hlamov

Kirill Zhukov Hlamov, candidate of psychological Sciences, senior researcher of the laboratory of cognitive studies, Director of the psychological service of the faculty of psychology of the Russian Academy of national economy, scientific Director of the center for promotion of children and adolescents “Perekrestok”

– The tragedy in Kerch, the slaughterhouse immediately after the New year in Perm, near Novosibirsk to Ulan-Ude. What’s going on? Why Teens are going to kill? What do we know about it?

– If we take not the full breadth of the situation, when Teens kill, and it happens regularly not only in our country but throughout the world, the reason for this phenomenon including biological aggressiveness, which is inherent in man, as mind. Citing the neuroscientist V. A. Dubinina, we might say, over-aggressiveness inherent in young types. If you keep in mind that man is a young species, then a certain kind of aggressiveness is inherent in him too.

But if from the common the sad question “why do people kill each other” go to private “why Teens attack school”, it should refer to research. Some of them made by American specialists. In the US attacks was pretty much there, they seriously studied, also took place to prevent attacks. This suggests the existence of some regularities, and that in such situations you can predict.

– What patterns exist?

– Most of the attacks were carried out by boys and alone. Most are teenagers from the national majority, two thirds of the cases of complete families. They do well at school, more than 60% of them are very successful. Some of them go to mugs and sections involved in communication with their peers, but more than half of them have the experience of persecution or boycott in the class, that is, they were victims. And while 45% have difficulties with communication, 12% of them are close friends.

That is, at first glance, this ordinary teenagers with communication difficulties.

We know that those who commit attacks on schools is teenagers, which there has long been a fantasy of attack. Most of them are after the attack, ready either to suicide or to the fact that they will be shot dead by the police. They are going to kill not only others, but also to kill himself.

For these adolescents may be characterized by symptoms of depression, they are about 60-70%. It’s not a very big sample, so the percentages are conditional. Only studied 30 cases of attacks on schools and in 17 cases there was reference to the history of Columbine, that is one of the first heavily made tragedies.

We know that after the attack, within two weeks of possible repeated and similar cases. Therefore, psychologists and journalists are some limitations and features of lighting in these types of situations, not to provoke a wave of repetitions.

A similar phenomenon is described in the suicide-studying is called “Werther effect”, when the perfect and romanticized, described suicide causes a wave (duration up to three months) of repeated suicides, up to the selected method. Attacks on schools comes a similar story. Glorification of the situation and its way can be dangerous.

Not only depression plays a role. Always play the role and complicated relationships with peers.

In 80% of cases warn teenagers relatives, mainly their peers and friends whom they want to protect. Warn either through social networks or notes. Thanks to the phenomenon failed to prevent the attack in 2014, it seems, in Alabama, in the United States.

– Are there any obvious signs?

– A very high percentage, up to 90% of the situations before a teenager makes the attack, he experiences a situation of loss and bereavement. For example, it could be a breakup, someone’s death. Researchers from the US claim that the act of losing is the trigger that thaws the rage, pain and despair of a teenager. Loss works as unfreezing of blocked emotions.

Experts note that Teens who commit attacks on schools, had a long-standing fantasy of attacks on schools. They could devote pages in social networks and make sites on the Internet.

For example, one of the attackers talked on his page about what would happen if you put some poison in the food.

Overall, for a number of years, such children are interested in topics of violence and their media content confirms this long-standing interest.

– But what about mental illness?

– Yes, studies confirm some of the attackers could be people with serious psychiatric disorders. They were isolated in a psychotic type attackers, those who attack in a state of psychosis, insanity and loss of touch with reality. But this is only a small part. I refer here to the ideas of colleagues and expert psychologist Denis Davydov that from the point of view of prevention and study of this phenomenon will be wrong (perhaps even beneficial to society, the state) to label the attackers as lunatics. In this situation, the stigma helps to eliminate the need to deal with a substantial part of the problem. But from the point of view of planning of work and activities in this area, it is better to be aware – the attackers can be anyone. Patterns and ways uniquely identify the attackers there. There is no clear understanding of the mechanism of this phenomenon.

– Why did the teenager not afraid to kill?

– There are three factors. First, playing the role of themselves the specific features of adolescence. For teenagers is characterized by the attitude to death as to this event that ends your life. They perceive it as an act break, a way to Express yourself, to communicate something, as part of communicating with the world.

Death for a teenager is a communication act and the message.

Second, the role of accumulated feeling or a condition close to affect.

The third factor is romanticizing and glorification. The feeling of being a hero, about which shoot a film, also characteristic of adolescence. Quite a high percentage of children are and see themselves as heroes, which tell everywhere. They themselves are going through.

– How can I recognize that my child is going to kill? Whether it is possible to recognize by their appearance, behavior and reactions?

– Some of the signs we mentioned above. But if you mean, is it possible to get the “point”, “turn”, then no, virtually no catch. Or, at least, it is very difficult. The problem here at all, the whole social system in Russia that in the United States. Society is set up to draw attention pointedly aggressive adolescents. We all take notice of teenager who swears, kicks and jumps in class.

But there is another important feature: up to 80% of adolescents who participated in the attacks on schools, believed that the attitude of peers and teachers unfairly. They felt themselves wronged! And committing murder, was sure to become something big and meaningful for this world. They restore justice and even heard by God’s will, you are a carrier and arbiter. The act of violence gave them a sense of their own power.


Someone outwardly aggressive less dangerous than the quiet, hidden anger?

– Say otherwise. We used to outwardly aggressive to pay attention, to consider it, to respond and to adapt to it. It needs more notice. In the case of a wallflower attacks are unexpected. Surrounding underestimate the statements of such a person, even if he shares his thoughts about the injustice of life, or fantasies about mass murder. Yes, many does not usually share and fantasies do not.

What to do with all this?

– In cases when teenagers attacked the school, almost none of them them at the time were not received psychological help. None of she was not only not provided, but are not even offered. This means a few things.

First, if to speak about Russia, in our country there is practically no system of social and psychological support, as-built system, not a set of separate elements. Not sure in the US this aid is provided properly, in any case, forcing to doubt the regularity of incidents. In Russia there is no system of support, mechanisms of support and care not only for adolescents but also those who are in the doldrums and unobtrusive. Although we now have psychological experts on adolescence, the overall level of their skills was higher, but system solutions still there.

Secondly, you need to work with teachers, teenagers and parents. Most parents at risk of simply informing them about the problems will not become more involved in the system. Remember the case of those that we know about Russia. For example, one of the parents attacked the teenagers appealed to Canisp (Commission on Affairs of minors and protection of their rights), said that it was hard to cope with the aggressive son. But parents fined!!! Can I call it help? Parents fined for what they do not do their parental duties. “He is guilty”, “the fool” – our all. In this situation you need to rebuild the system of psychological support and to build laboriously, brick by brick, as do the Germans, Finns, Scandinavians.

In several European countries, understand how interdependent system elements, the lucid interactive algorithms. Based on this they give a certain load at a specialist and it is adequate and sufficient. And we have the same specialist Cdnsp one can serve more than 300 families in the area. The school psychologist may be one of 7 buildings for 5,000 children. Is it possible with so many to do something? In short, we need real standards and real purpose-built algorithms.

– We did not really change, because it is not a scary statistic?

– Frightening statistics. Why do we have nothing going on, I hard to say. I assume we still have the system of socio-psychological support, which was geared to government support but now the government is completely unable to cope with their role.

We’re talking about what Cdnsp not working, working is not enough that the school system can not cope, and because there are tragic episodes. There is the concept of psychological assistance, she developed good professionals, more than a year ago, but for some reason not embedded in the system. Here you can talk a lot, but further conversations business, alas, is not.

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