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The applicability of the Miso-model to youth violence and the interpretations of dangerousness

Jaclyn P Gisburne, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Youth violence continues to be a growing concern for educational leadership, as it is in the workplace, with the trends indicating an increase in the intensity of the attacks and ever-younger perpetrators of severe violence. School shootings in recent years have heightened the pressures already placed on school officials and staff to ensure the safety of their organizations. Consequently, many school administrators have sought outside sources and approaches to assist them in their attempts to accurately identify and assess the dangerousness of situations and individuals. ^ The focus of this exploration was on the perceptions and interpretations of dangerousness as communicated by violent adolescent males. The purpose of this multiple stage qualitative study was to determine the applicability and utility of a phenomenological model and approach on perpetrator violence observed in adults. The phenomenological model used, called the Miso-model (Svoboda, 1995), was based on a formal grounded theory synthesizing relational, workplace and perpetrator violence by individuals and collectives at all levels of scale. When reviewed alongside other “predictive” approaches to youth violence, e.g., profiling and threat assessment approaches, the model was found to be applicability to youth violence in all of its thematic categories, especially in areas of the attackers' communications patterns. ^ Seven cases of school shooting violence were purposefully selected for maximum variability to determine the model's utility. Five of the models categories—cultural predispositions, cyclical pattern, communication pattern, continuum of severity, and avoidance-elimination planning—provided features likely to be useful for predictive and evaluating dangerousness, having been applicable in six of the seven cases. The exceptional case did not disprove the model's applicability or utility. Instead, the exceptional case may have provided valuable insights into the point of bifurcation (splitting), capturing insights into the intrapersonal dynamics of “how” violence adoption and its relationships to the conditions under which it is adoption. ^

Subject Area

Education, Educational Psychology|Psychology, Personality|Sociology, Criminology and Penology

Recommended Citation

Gisburne, Jaclyn P, "The applicability of the Miso-model to youth violence and the interpretations of dangerousness" (2003). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3092545.