Newswise — LAS VEGAS — UNLV psychology professor and researcher Stephen Benning has launched a study aimed at understanding how people are reacting emotionally to the tragedy at the Route 91 country music festival.

The mass shooting on Oct. 1 left 58 people dead, hundreds wounded and scores traumatized, including many from the UNLV community.

Benning said the study will examine how people’s stories of the tragedy are associated with symptoms of traumatic stress and depression as well as their personality traits, growth from trauma, and beliefs about the traumatic event.

“We think that the way people tell their stories may be related to the levels of post-traumatic stress and depression symptoms they exhibit,” Benning said.

Benning developed the study a week after the shooting. “One goal of the study is to give people a place to tell their stories and process what has happened,” he said.

Participants in the voluntary study must be 18 years or older and either have been at the country music festival or be a member of the Las Vegas community who learned about what happened within 24 hours of the tragic incident.

“I’m proud to see our faculty members applying their research in the immediate service of our community in the wake of this tragic event,” said Diane Chase, UNLV executive vice president and provost.

Anyone interested in participating in the study can learn more at and must sign up by the end of October.