The social ecology of the Columbine High School shootings

Jun Sung Hong, Hyunkag Cho, Paula Allen-Meares, Dorothy L. Espelage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Columbine High School shooting in 1999 prompted school officials and policy-makers to create and implement programs and policies that would prevent violence in school and ensure school safety. Ten years have passed since the Columbine shooting; however, debates concerning risk factors for the shootings continue to ensue. The focus of this article is to examine the Columbine school shootings within the context of Bronfenbrenner's (1994) ecological systems analysis. We examine the most commonly identified risk factors, which operate within five systems levels: chrono-, macro-, exo-, meso-, and microsystems, and draw implications for school-based practice and policy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)861-868
Number of pages8
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Columbine shooting
  • Ecological systems theory
  • High school
  • School shooting
  • Violence
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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