Behaviors of Concern

Inappropriate behaviors and/or communications may precede a violent incident. The Workplace Violence Prevention & Intervention American National Standard indicates that behaviors emerge as ‘warning signs’ of potential violence, offers a key opportunity for the University to prevent the progression to more serious incidents. The discipline of violence risk assessment involves examining a full range of factors and circumstances, including an individual’s personal history, felt grievances, motives, justifications, intentions, and actions. While certain behaviors raise flags and serve as a warning, no ‘profile’ exists to identify likely perpetrators of workplace or university violence.

Warning signs include; but are not limited to, the following:
  • Making direct or implied threats of violence.
  • A criminal or personal history suggestive of a propensity to use violence to project power and to control others.
  • Aggressive outbursts, comments, or excessive displays of anger.
  • Verbal abuse or harassment.
  • Harboring grudges, an inability to handle criticism, habitually making excuses, and blaming others.
  • Chronic, unsubstantiated complaints about persecution or injustice.
  • Obsessive intrusion upon others or a persistent unwanted romantic pursuit.
  • Erratic, impulsive, or bizarre behavior that has generated fear among University affiliates.
  • Homicidal or suicidal thoughts or ideas.
  • A high degree of emotional distress.
  • Apparent impulsivity and/or low tolerance of frustration.
  • Expressing fascination with firearms or asserting ownership of firearms (see NC State’s policy on firearm possession on campus).
  • Preoccupation with violent themes of revenge.
  • Unusual interest in recently publicized violent events.
  • Identification with criminal or terrorist individuals, acts and/or philosophy.
  • Any behavior or collection of behaviors that instill fear or generate concern that a person might act out violently.
  • Recent or impending losses including employment, academic, relationship, financial, or status in conjunction with denial and limited coping mechanisms.
  • Preparatory actions for a violent act including research & planning and acquiring & practicing with weapons for that act.
  • Substance abuse in conjunction with behaviors described above.