According to the article “Shattering Core Beliefs: Psychological Reactions to Mass Shooting in Orlando”, researchers suggest that living with mass violence in the environment impacts some individual’s political views, positions on gun control, and core beliefs (Ben-Ezra et al., 2017). Three weeks after the mass shooting in Orlando, researchers conducted a study with the state census representative sample from an online panel with 987 respondents (Ben-Ezra et al., 2017). Research suggests that individuals that experience traumatic stressors such as gun violence may experience disrupted worldviews related to sense of loss of meaning or purpose, believe that the world is unsafe, and perceive the world as dangerous. Data suggests that individuals who experience shifts in political views and disruption of worldviews are more likely to experience elevated internal distress and symptoms of acute stress. Individuals exposed to mass violence such as the tragedies in Orlando were related to individuals becoming more or less liberal, changing positions on gun violence (making guns more or less difficult to get), and experiencing a disrupted worldview (Ben-Ezra et al., 2017). This research may contribute to clinician’s conceptualization of treating individuals with PTSD, particularly clinicians treating symptoms of acute grief and PTSD in the wake of mass violence.
Author: Nora Brier, M.A.