May 21, 2022

Wilson Interviewed for Vox Article, “The School Shooting Generation Grows Up”

Associate Professor of Psychological Science Laura Wilson

Associate Professor of Psychological Science Laura Wilson

Associate Professor of Psychological Science Laura Wilson was recently interviewed for a Vox.com article, “The School Shooting Generation Grows Up,” about survivors of the early wave of school shootings in the ’80s, ’90s and early 2000s.

Each survivor was trying to make sense of an experience with mass tragedy with a brain that was still developing. They’d spend years processing and reprocessing the trauma as they got older. Experts still don’t have a complete picture of the different ways that brain development can affect the processing of trauma. “As a field, we’re still figuring it out,” said Laura Wilson, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Mary Washington and editor of The Wiley Handbook of the Psychology of Mass Shootings.

Still, the field of psychology has come a long way in understanding how children and teenagers might experience post-traumatic stress. “Young people are in a lot of ways more resilient,” Wilson said, but they also have less life experience to help them make sense of violence, making them more susceptible to destabilizing shifts in their worldview. It might be harder for young people to feel safe again after experiencing a mass shooting. Read more.