In reality, the cause of school shootings is likely far more complex than a simple case of a shooter being rejected by peers. Specifically, while peer rejection might be part of the profile of many school shooters, it is important to think about the range of environmental and individual factors that might contribute to school shootings.
Ecological frameworks offer a promising approach for highlighting the factors at these multiple levels that might be related to school shootings.
First, at the individual level, it is important to consider risk factors for school shootings. Those risk factors include things like depression and prior antisocial behavior.
Next, it is important to consider the immediate environments that surround school shooters and their interactions. It is here where peer rejection comes into play – but relationships with teachers, family members, and the broader community are also critical.
Finally, it is important to consider local, state and federal policies that influence the availability of firearms, as well as broad cultural attitudes toward the use of firearms. It is likely that these factors help explain school shootings. For this reason, any solution to school shootings must involve an approach that takes a range of factors at multiple levels into account.