Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Aggression and Violent Behavior 25 (2015), pp 43–53.

doi 10.1016/j.avb.2015.07.005


Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Used by permission.


Record reviews of public figure, primary/secondary school, and workplace threateners and attackers displayed the importance of noticing pre-incident behaviors and intervening to prevent violence. General crime prevention strategies did not appear applicable. Similarly, campus threat assessment research has considered targeted violence as distinctive and unable to be reviewed within general collegiate samples, which has related to questions about the prevalence, predictiveness, applicability, and reporting of pre-incident behaviors. This article applies general criminological and crime prevention findings to these questions and presents campus threat assessment methodologies informed by these fields. With college student surveys, pre-incident behaviors have appeared predictive of general physical assault, which promotes investigation of the generalizability of campus threat assessment across collegiate bullying, intimate partner, stalking, and workplace violence concerns. In college student surveys, the majority of observed pre-incident behavior has not been reported to campus authorities and has been impacted by students’ personal victimization, assessment of dangerousness, and relationship with the perpetrator. Efforts to enhance reporting in general criminological and crime prevention fields could be applied to improving pre-incident authority notification. Thus, viewing campus threat assessment within the broader violence prevention framework can advance the efficiency, effectiveness, and applicability of the approach.