Title

Openness to Firearm Storage Safety as a Suicide Prevention Tool Among Those Exposed to Suicide: The Role of Perceived Closeness to the Suicide Decedent

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-25-2018

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Background

Exposure to suicide and closeness to a suicide decedent may be relevant to means safety, especially in firearm owners. This study examines how such factors are associated with firearm owners’ current firearm storage methods and openness to changing storage methods.

Method

300 firearm owners completed a survey on Amazon's Mechanical Turk program; 176 participants reported being exposed to suicide. Perceived closeness was rated as Not at all close, Close, or Extremely Close.

Results

Those exposed to suicide were more open to secure storage and temporarily storing the firearm with a trusted individual to prevent someone else's suicide. Those close to the suicide decedent were more likely to use secure storage practices, more open to using secure storage methods to prevent their own and someone else's suicide, and had a higher degree of storage methods in place compared to those not close to the decedent.

Limitations

The sample may not be representative of all American firearm owners exposed to suicide.

Conclusions

Being close to a suicide decedent may influence firearm owners’ current storage practices and openness to changing storage methods. Such individuals may better relate to the suicide decedent and realize the significance of using secure storage methods to prevent suicide.

Publication Title

Psychiatry Research

Volume

269

First Page

437

Last Page

443

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