Date of Graduation

Summer 8-13-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (PsyD)


School of Nursing and Health Professions




Clinical Psychology (PsyD)

First Advisor

Brent (Rick) Ferm, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Dellanira Garcia, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Erin Grinshteyn, Ph.D.


Over the past five decades, mass shootings have emerged as a highly politicized, social problem that generates considerable public sentiment and media attention (Elsass et al., 2014; Rocque & Duwe, 2018; Shultz et al., 2014). Moreover, the increase in mass shootings carried out on or near college campuses have led researchers to focus more intently on the predictors and consequences that characterize these types of attacks (Boykin & Orcutt, 2018; Elsass et al., 2014; Fox & Savage, 2009). One college mass shooting that has received limited empirical attention is the 2014 mass shooting that occurred in Isla Vista, a town adjacent to the UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) campus. In what the Isla Vista gunman dubbed his "War on Women," (Rodger, 2014, p. 132), the event resulted in six deaths, 14 injuries, and a community tasked to mourn a tremendous loss (Felix, Dowdy & Green, 2018). Using a thematic analysis framework (Braun & Clarke, 2006), this project examined the long-term psychological impacts of exposure to a college mass shooting from the perspective of intended victims to diversify the college mass shooting literature and enhance clinical service delivery for women who experience gender-based violence (White, 2017). Deriving from semi-structured interviews with UCSB female alumni (n=13), six overlapping themes and 17 sub-themes were constructed that highlight how the participants experienced the Isla Vista mass shooting, responded to the gunman's intentions to target female students, and were impacted by the event for the remainder of their college career as well as in present day. Recommendations to expand on this project's findings and broaden the scope of the existing mass shooting literature are also provided.