IOM committee to develop CDC agenda on gun violence prevention research

Congress will decide whether to appropriate funding for the research.

President Obama’s national plan for addressing gun violence, released in January, includes an initiative to end the freeze on gun violence research. A presidential memorandum directs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to conduct research into the causes and prevention of gun violence, and to start immediately by assessing existing strategies for preventing gun violence and identifying the most pressing research questions, with the greatest potential public health impact. 

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the National Research Council’s Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences Education (DBASSE) have since established a committee to develop a proposed research agenda for the CDC on these topics. Staff from APA’s Science and Public Interest directorates attended a public workshop on April 23 in Washington, D.C., hosted by the committee to explore potential research topics in five areas: characteristics of gun violence, interventions and strategies, technology, video games and other media, and risk and protective factors. The meeting featured panel presentations on gun violence and prevention, non-gun-related violence and prevention, and what research is needed to help to inform policy, including a presentation by Julia da Silva, director of APA’s Violence Prevention Office. Following the panel discussions, participants divided into breakout groups to discuss the five potential areas of research. APA President-elect Nadine Kaslow was invited to present to the breakout group on video games and other media. Visit the meeting website for the full slide presentations. Interested parties may continue to submit via email any materials they believe the committee should consider in its work. 

The presidential memorandum calls on Congress to provide $10 million to the CDC for gun violence prevention research, and the president’s fiscal year 2014 budget request released this month accordingly includes a line item for the $10 million. However, Congress ultimately will decide whether to appropriate the funding.

For more information on this issue contact Christine Jamieson.