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A Multifactorial Model of Threat Assessment Activity Applied to Educational Settings

Maria Rosa Viñas-Racionero, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The current study proposed a multifactorial model of threat assessment activity (MFTA) in order to assess the effectiveness of threat management interventions for preventing problematic physical approach and violence in institutes of higher education (Scalora & Bulling, 2007; Scalora, Zimmerman, & Wells, 2008; Scalora, Plank, & Scheoneman, 2009). In order to answer this overarching goal, the current study analyzed a sample of 332 cases reported to a Police Department of a Midwestern University between 2006 and 2016. The MFTA model was statistically tested via a structural equation model. Overall, the results of this study suggested that the MFTA model provided a valid approach to examine the different stages of the threat assessment and management processes. Specifically, the main findings of this model showed threat activity involved a wide pool of individuals who contacted directly and repeatedly several targets and institutions for personal reasons. Factors such as unresolved interpersonal conflicts and severe mental disorder further exacerbated the risk for physically approaching the target. For this reason, most of the threat assessment cases required management strategies that contained the individuals’ behavior and aimed to hinder any additional direct face-to-face contact with the target. The results of the structural equation model suggested these strategies effectively assisted in decreasing problematic behavior over time and preventing violence at a long-term. Implications for future threat management practices were discussed.

Subject Area

Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

Viñas-Racionero, Maria Rosa, "A Multifactorial Model of Threat Assessment Activity Applied to Educational Settings" (2018). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI10843923.