Date of Award

Fall 12-2018

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

School

Psychology

Committee Chair

Dr. Michael Anestis

Committee Chair School

Psychology

Committee Member 2

Dr. Joye Anestis

Committee Member 2 School

Psychology

Committee Member 3

Dr. Daniel Capron

Committee Member 3 School

Psychology

Abstract

Firearms account for approximately half of all suicides in the US and are highly lethal, widely available, and popular; thus, firearms are an ideal candidate for targeted means safety interventions. However, despite their value as a suicide prevention tool, firearm means safety strategies are not widely utilized, possibly due to factors which impede openness to their use. This study examined the relationship between region, political beliefs, and openness to firearm means safety in a sample of 300 American firearm owners. Overall, firearm owners were more willing to engage in means safety for others than for themselves and to store firearms safely than to temporarily remove them from the home. Social policy views and region were significantly associated with openness to firearm means safety measures, however, economic policy views were not. This study provides further context for the development and implementation of efficacious means safety measures capable of overcoming potential barriers to their use.

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