NEW JOURNAL EDITOR
APA’s new Journal of Threat Assessment and Management will help
police, social workers, human resource managers and others separate
real threats from the cries for help.
BY SADIE DINGFELDER • Monitor staff
A student calls in a bomb threat to her high school. A man throws a lamp at his wife. Environmental protesters publicize
their plans to sink a whaling ship. In each of
these situations, a team of threat assessment
professionals must decide how serious the
danger is and how to respond, says Stephen D.
Hart, PhD, a threat assessment researcher and
psychology professor at Simon Frasier University.
With the debut of the Journal of Threat Assessment and
Management this spring, police officers, social workers, human
resource managers and other threat assessment professionals
can turn to a single source for empirically based advice on
making such critical calls.
“Threat assessment decisions get made a thousand times a
day around the world, and there is a lack of good guidance for
the people who make them,” says Hart, who began accepting
manuscripts in November.
The new journal will provide that guidance by publishing
case studies as well as threat assessment research and guidelines.
For example, a team of university administrators might submit
an article about how they determined the credibility of a
particular bomb threat, or a police officer might report on how
he prevented a case of domestic abuse from escalating into
“We can learn a lot from the disasters, but we
can learn even more from cases when something
went well,” Hart says.
Hart will encourage researchers with
experience submitting journal articles to team
with police officers, human resource professionals
and attorneys to write the case studies. He’ll also
encourage a diverse array of professionals to write
high-level reviews — for example, of the changing
legal landscape for threat assessment.
With legislators increasingly holding workplaces, universities
and police forces accountable for violence prevention, threat
assessment is a burgeoning area of research and practice, Hart
says. In fact, the journal will have a built-in audience of more
than 1,000 subscribers when it launches, thanks to support
from threat assessment associations in Asia, Australia, Canada,
Europe and the United States. This diverse pool of readers
and potential contributors will help the publication cross
professional and political boundaries to make the world a safer
place, Hart says.
“This journal isn’t just here to advance research, it’s putting
psychology to use for the public good,” he says. n
Submit papers to the Journal of Threat Assessment and
Management at www.apa.org/pubs/journals/tam.