Attachment research has largely focused on the relationship between the child and its caregiver. However, more recent research has begun to focus on other areas of attachment as they relate to toxic masculinity and violence. For example, the concept of school connectedness has gained traction as being a key factor for how a student feels about their school, which can play into other possible risk factors of violence. College students between the ages of 18-22, as well as individuals up to the age of 30, were recruited as participants and were evaluated for their adult attachment style and sense of masculinity. An 18-item of adult attachment scale, the ten-item masculinity contingency scale, and five open-ended questions regarding perceptions on the “typical” school shooter and how to prevent school shootings were used in this study. Results indicated that insecure men—especially conservatives—were less likely to acknowledge specific traits and associations with school shooters, as a possible way to be more masculine, protect their image and not feel embarrassed. In addition, men were more likely to be in favor of guns in the classroom for defense. Results were discussed with regards to working models of attachment and the importance of a strong support system from childhood all through adulthood, as well as toxic levels of masculinity overtaking an individual’s ability to perceive issues in a fair way.

(Keywords: Masculinity, Attachment, School Shootings)


Casey, Mike




Social and Behavioral Sciences

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2021 Matthew R. Olszewski