Relationships Between Firearm Availability and Suicide: The Role of Psychology

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Abstract

The causes and theoretical underpinnings of suicidal behavior are complex and multidimensional. A review of current research indicates a correlation between firearm availability and suicidal risk. Variables that contribute to this relationship are examined, including geographic location, legislative issues, impulsivity, and occupation. Reasons for considering this correlation as a social advocacy issue for psychologists are presented, and recommendations for the profession of psychology are described. These recommendations include potential empirical research areas, ways of incorporating the relationship between firearm availability and suicidal risk into doctoral training programs, and a variety of practice-related recommendations.

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