Lethal school violence in Scandinavia: development of an incident typology and suggestions for prevention
Journal article, 2019

In this paper we address the question of lethal school violence and suggest some preventive strategies. Previous studies in the field has been dominated of cases from the U.S. or Germany, but in this paper we instead focus on lethal violence which has occurred in Scandinavia. Previous research of lethal violence and prevention against it often stresses the complexity and limitations in research. Mainly since the impossibility to profile perpetrators or make lists of warnings signs. In addition, since lethal violence are rare events, there are methodologic challenges related to studies of the phenomena. In the study the included cases are different acts of lethal violence, occurred 1961-2016 (n=12). In the first analysis the aim is to construct a typology, and in the second analysis the typology is used for analysing suitable prevention strategies. The study emphasizing the relation between perpetrator, victim, school and traceable motive in the typology, and the result conclude three different types of lethal violence. The first is based on interpersonal revenge, the second institutional revenge and the third societal revenge. Two prevention strategies seems suitable one aiming at schools organizational structure and the second to architectural decisions in the design process.

access control


school violence

threat assessment team


Charlotta Thodelius

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Building Design

Hans-Olof Sandén

Police Region West

Journal of Risk Research

1366-9877 (ISSN) 1466-4461 (eISSN)

Vol. 22 6 692-700

Areas of Advance

Building Futures (2010-2018)

Subject Categories

Civil Engineering

Law and Society


Basic sciences



More information

Latest update