Poster Number

062

Session Title

Crime and Political Issues

Document Type

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor

Matthew Hayes, Ph.D., and Melissa Reeves, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Psychology

Description

The national concern about active shootings has pushed schools to implement intense drills without considering some unintended consequences. Studies have found that training had the potential to increase preparedness; however, some studies have found that training increases anxiety. While these findings apply to short-term effects, there is a lack of empirical research on long-term effects of active shooter drills. The present study investigated whether active shooter training completed in high school impacts current levels of anxiety and preparedness of undergraduates. Participants (N = 364) completed an online survey and answered questions about their perceived knowledge of protocols, protocol actions, and training methods from high school followed by the same set of questions, this time referring to their current university. Participants then completed an anxiety measure and a preparedness measure. Two hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to predict anxiety and preparedness. This study expanded findings on the effects of active shooter training by demonstrating long-term effects for high school training; evacuation protocols and perceived knowledge positively impact anxiety and preparedness of university students. Experiences at the university level have an additional, larger impact on student anxiety and preparedness, which seem to overshadow the effects from high school. This may be problematic, because the perceived knowledge that leads to higher feelings of preparedness may not translate into appropriate actions in a real-life situation, potentially risking lives.

Previously Presented/Performed?

SAEOPP McNair/SSS Scholars Research Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, June 2019; Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana, April 2020; Sixth Annual Showcase of Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors (SOURCE), Winthrop University, April 2020

Grant Support?

Supported by a Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program grant from the U.S. Department of Education

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Apr 24th, 12:00 AM

Active Shooter Protocols: Perceptions, Preparedness, and Unintended Consequences

The national concern about active shootings has pushed schools to implement intense drills without considering some unintended consequences. Studies have found that training had the potential to increase preparedness; however, some studies have found that training increases anxiety. While these findings apply to short-term effects, there is a lack of empirical research on long-term effects of active shooter drills. The present study investigated whether active shooter training completed in high school impacts current levels of anxiety and preparedness of undergraduates. Participants (N = 364) completed an online survey and answered questions about their perceived knowledge of protocols, protocol actions, and training methods from high school followed by the same set of questions, this time referring to their current university. Participants then completed an anxiety measure and a preparedness measure. Two hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to predict anxiety and preparedness. This study expanded findings on the effects of active shooter training by demonstrating long-term effects for high school training; evacuation protocols and perceived knowledge positively impact anxiety and preparedness of university students. Experiences at the university level have an additional, larger impact on student anxiety and preparedness, which seem to overshadow the effects from high school. This may be problematic, because the perceived knowledge that leads to higher feelings of preparedness may not translate into appropriate actions in a real-life situation, potentially risking lives.

 

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