Save me from myself: College students' fears of losing control and acting violently

Jeffrey A. Hayes, Amy L. Crane, Benjamin D. Locke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Violent behavior on college campuses has been a long-standing problem that has received increased attention due to recent shootings. At present, the factors that predict college students' violent behavior are not well understood. To increase knowledge in this area, two studies were conducted that examined the prevalence and predictors of college students' fears of committing violent behavior. Data from a single university indicated that less than 2% of the general student body possessed strong fears of acting violently and more than 80% of students had no such fears. Among clients at the university counseling center, 7% expressed strong fears of acting violently whereas 71% of clients had no such fears. Similar prevalence rates were found in a sample of 27,616 clients from 66 university counseling centers. Predictors of fears of acting violently included low academic motivation, suicidal ideation, irritable feelings, fears of having a panic attack in public, having harmed another person previously, having nightmares or flashbacks, and getting into frequent arguments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-202
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of College Student Psychotherapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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