Date of Completion


Embargo Period



school shooters, gender role conflict, gender and school shooters

Major Advisor

James O'Neil

Associate Advisor

Melissa Bray

Associate Advisor

Clewiston Challenger

Field of Study

Educational Psychology


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


School shootings are becoming familiar events in America. School children live in a world where they fear violence and practice active shooter drills even during kindergarten. With no signs of the violence abating, it is of critical importance for the public to understand why these attacks are occurring.

The purpose of this study is to examine the writings of school shooters for the presence of masculine ideologies and gender role conflict. Using the qualitative directed content analysis methodology, gender role conflict theory, anda feminist theoretical perspective, the writings of seven school shooters were analyzed.

Little research attention has been paid to thesex and gender roles of the shooters. School shooters are almost universally boys exhibiting what can be defined as gendered behavior. This study examined the patterns of gender role conflict in school shooters’ lives. The findings found the presence of masculine ideology and distorted gender role schemas, three of the four outlined patterns of gender role conflict, and gender role devaluations, restrictions, and violations in their writings. The results provided evidence that the shooters in the sample wrote about gender role conflict and the resulting stress it caused in their lives. The limitations of the study and implications are discussed.