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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Impact of Mass Shooting

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Everyday terrifying events happen around the world and each time there are witnesses, victims, and casualties. When these events happen, they may cause a long term mental imbalance to the people who witness them or those that experience them as victims. While some may not be direct victims or casualties of these scary events such as shooting, accidents, floods, earthquakes, they may not be able to cope with such happening an end up developing a condition of mental health known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD). Indirect victims include families and members of the affected communities. In most cases those suffering from PSTD may have trouble sleeping, experience bad dreams and nightmares, suffer from increased anxiety and so on.

Many researches have been conducted on PSTD by different researchers at different levels all in a bid to understand the condition better and also to find ways of helping those affected to deal with the condition. One research was conducted in 2010 by the Centre for the Study of Traumatic Stress focusing on how to improve mental health by researching on trauma in terms of its consultation and education. Another similar research was conducted in the year 2007 by the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder seeking to establish the effects shootings on the survivors, their families, and the community at large in a bid to understand how PSTD attacks its victims.

Keywords: PTSD, research, variable, sample, tools, phases, expertise, perspective.

Examples of True Research

These two articles from different researchers but on the same topic of post-traumatic stress can be termed be as examples of true research based on three main factors of true research. First of all a true research should have both a control sample and the experimental sample which are present in both of these researches (Price, 2015). A close look at the first article on Improving psychological health through trauma research, the researchers based their resarch on military families and how separation during deployment affect the children, marriages and affections. There was the controlled study where some military families were not exposed to the research variables that is separation and deployment and the other group of military families was exposed to the research factors an then a conclusion was drawn. On the second research on the impact of mass shootings in relation to PSTD, a group of school going students was used as a controlled experiment meaning they were not exposed to mass shooting whatsoever either as witnesses or victims; another group of students who had actually been exposed to mass shooting either as victims or witnesses was used as the experimental study group. Secondly, another proof that these are true researches is the fact in both the researchers have both the dependent variable and the independent variable which is subject to manipulation by the researcher. However, the researchers have not manipulated the deponent research variable which is in relation to improving Psychological health and resilient and Impact of mass shootings respectively. Last but not the least, the research participants are selected randomly for the both researching assuring that any differences in the results can be attributed to pure chances. The military families sampled in the first research are selected randomly while the students and families in the second research are selected randomly as well, each participant has equal chances for being in any of the selected groups.

Tool of Research Used

Research tools are termed as all the means or ways that the researchers use to collect data and information for their research. These may include but not limited to questionnaires, interviews, observations, book references, surveys, etc. In the first article on Improving psychological health and resilient among PSTD victims and their families, the researchers used a combination of observation and interviews as well as surveys to gather information from military families and service men. To do this the researchers travelled to sampled military camp and sampled families to conduct their experiments. Here, families were observed as they went ahead with their day to day activities. On other cases interviews were conducted on both controlled and experimental group samples and finally a survey was one on the service men in relation to effects of deployments. On the other hand, the second article on effects of mass shootings the researchers distributed questionnaires to affected students in the sampled schools. These questionnaires consisting of leading questions were filled and collected for the data base. These schools included those that were targeted in mass shooting and also those that never experienced mass shootings. Additionally, observation was used to analyze the behaviors of the victims of the shootings as well as their families and the community. All these tools helped to gather the required data on the variables, hence, helped in drawing conclusions on the topic of study in both researches. Among general tools used for research, most of them were used in this two cases. Statistics and computers as the most powerful artificial intelligence were used for storing qualitative and quantitative data, their processing and interpretation. Finally, language and human mind, the most amazing and important tools for human communication (Leedy, Ormrod, 2019).

Identification of Phases of Research in the Articles

Any good and true research article needs to follow a particular process or steps also known as phases of research. While the articles may not follow the whole process as predetermined, at least each tries to follow some sequence of identifying what need to come before the other. These two research articles in this paper cannot be said to follow the same sequence in details but the researchers in each have tried to identify with the particular phases of research. Some of the phases identified by the researchers in both articles include the following; identifying problem, review of literature, and defining the research population (Pandey, 2015, p. 99).

Identifying the Problem

For the first article, the researcher had identified the problem which is the topic of study as trauma which cause psychological health issues. In this case, the researcher is trying to come up with solutions of improving psychological health by dealing with trauma through education and consultations. On the other hand, in the second article the researcher identified the problem as trauma associated with mass shootings on the victims’ families, the survivors and the affected communities. This was the topic of research for this article.

Review of Literature

In order to understand the study topic better, the researchers have gone back to look for other research articles and projects that are related to PSTD. On improving psychological health article, the researcher has sample reviews from previous research which identified trauma as one of the effects affecting military families after deployments and separation. This review led the researcher to the need to find ways to improve mental health among these families by giving trauma education and consultations. The other articles reviewed literature on the aftermath of mass shootings.

Defining the Research Population

Each of these two research articles have a different type of research population based on the variables. While the first one focuses on military families and service men as its research population, the second article chose mass shooting victims in schools and other areas which experienced mass shooting as their population. These included both the students, teachers, families, and the surrounding community.

Expertise of the Authors

As mentioned in the introduction of the research articles the authors of these two research articles are part of big research organization groups. For instance, the first article is done by authors from The Center of Study of Traumatic Stress while the second article is done by authors from the National Centre for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. They all are qualified with PHD, Masters, and experience in PSTD and related topics, so clearly both authors are experts in this particular field of study.

Perspective of the Authors on the Topic

For the first article, the author assumes that psychological health is affected by posttraumatic stress and that is why they decide to research on how to use education and counselling of trauma victims in military families to reduce or improve mental health. In their perception, if psychological health is to be improved then the families of deployed service men need to be educated and counseled on the same. Similarly, in the second article, the authors have a perspective that mass shootings are a leading cause of posttraumatic stress and therefore the article is geared towards finding out more about this impact on the victims, survivors, their families, and the communities affected. Though researching on the same topic the authors in each articles have assumed a different perspective of the study something which led to the research and eventually the results and conclusions.

Evaluation of the Articles, New Information Learned, Gaps for Future Research

The first research article has drawn more light on how educating and counselling PSTD victims together with their families is a huge step towards the improvements of mental health in the society. For the members of the military families who were counseled and educated on trauma PSTD cases were much reduced as compared to those that no education or counselling was provided since they were caught unawares. However, the research for this article leaves research gaps in relation to when and who the counselling and education should be carried out.

For the second article, the authors have brought to light and emphasized that PSTD is the number one leading impact of mass shooting on families and the survivors. Further, this articles has drawn a new conclusion that a big percentage of the mass shootings will experience PSTD at some point and therefore will need to be counseled on the same. The only gap left in this research is what determines the extent of the PSTD in each of the affected parties. In other ones, the research does give reasons why after mass shootings some victims and survivors are affected more than other. This can be a topic for future research.


  1. Leedy, P., Ormrod, J., Ruth, L. (2019). Practical Research Planning and Design. (12th ed.). New York: Pearson Education, Inc.
  2. Norris, F. (2007). Impact of Mass shooting on Survivors, Families and Community. PTSD Research Quarterly, 18. Published by: The National Center for PTSD VA Medical Center, Vermont, USA.
  3. Pandey, P., Pandey, M. (2015). Research Methodology: Tools and Technique. Romania: Bridge Center
  4. Price, P. (2015). Research Methods in Psychology. Statistical Relationships Between Variables. California State University, Fresno. Retrieved from:
  5. Ursano, J. (2011). Improving Psychological Health and Resilience Through Trauma Education and Consultation. Annual Report 2010. www.

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