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Feb 01, 2017 10:11 AM EST

Northwestern University Research Finds Link Between School Shootings And Unemployment

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A study by Northwestern University has found a link between unemployment and school shootings. This means that the rate of gun violence at schools increases when people coming out of school have a difficult time finding jobs.

In its official website, Northwestern University reported that the study by data scientists Adam R. Pah and Luís Amaral and sociologist John L. Hagan found a "persistent connection" between unemployment and the occurrence of school shootings. This data encompasses the country as a whole.

Hagan, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor of Sociology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, said that the link between education and work is the focus of expectations about economic opportunity and progress in America. The study shows that increases in gun violence in schools can be a result of disappointment and despair during increased unemployment periods.

Pah, clinical assistant professor of management and organizations at the Kellogg School of Management, noted that their findings shed light on the importance of economic opportunity for the next generation. It also suggests that there are actions that our society can take to help lower the frequency of gun violence.

The study was published in the journal "Nature Human Behavior." It is entitled "Economic Insecurity and the Rise in Gun Violence at US Schools."

According to Reuters, there have been several high-profile shooting incidents in the U.S. This comes amidst the debate over gun control measures. Gun control efforts have continued to fail even when mass shootings sparked the public's anger.

The researchers at Northwestern University combed through six datasets to create a list of 381 school shooting incidents from 1990 to 2013. They were able to find two periods of increased gun violence in U.S. schools: one from 1992 to 1994 and the second was in 2007 to 2013. Both of these periods were a time when unemployment was rising as the economy faltered.

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