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Threat assessment teams gather and analyze information to assess if a person poses a threat of violence or self-harm, and if so, take steps to intervene.Prevention of violence occurs along a continuum that begins in early childhood with programs to help parents raise emotionally healthy children and ends with efforts to identify and intervene with troubled individuals who are threatening violence.
Preliminary evidence suggests that changing perceptions among males of social norms about behaviors and characteristics associated with masculinity may reduce the prevalence of intimate partner and sexual violence.
For this reason, there is no single profile that can reliably predict who will use a gun in a violent act.
Instead, gun violence is associated with a confluence of individual, family, school, peer, community, and sociocultural risk factors that interact over time during childhood and adolescence.
Although many youths desist in aggressive and antisocial behavior during late adolescence, others are disproportionately at risk for becoming involved in or otherwise affected by gun violence.
The most consistent and powerful predictor of future violence is a history of violent behavior.
The use of a gun greatly increases the odds that violence will lead to a fatality: This problem calls for urgent action.
Firearm prohibitions for high-risk groups — domestic violence offenders, persons convicted of violent misdemeanor crimes, and individuals with mental illness who have been adjudicated as being a threat to themselves or to others — have been shown to reduce violence.
Toward this end, in February 2013 the American Psychological Association commissioned this report by a panel of experts to convey research-based conclusions and recommendations (and to identify gaps in such knowledge) on how to reduce the incidence of gun violence — whether by homicide, suicide, or mass shootings — nationwide.
Following are chapter-by-chapter highlights and short summaries of conclusions and recommendations of the report’s authors.
Gun violence is an urgent, complex, and multifaceted problem.
It requires evidence-based, multifaceted solutions. Psychology can make important contributions to policies that prevent gun violence.
Guns are not a necessary or sufficient cause of violence and can be used legally for a variety of sanctioned activities.