APA Monitor: 3 questions for Robert Kinscherff

A spike in gun violence during the pandemic speaks to the urgent need for a comprehensive public health approach to prevention

January 04, 2021

Dr. Robert Kinscherff (Photo: Rebecca Corke)

For major cities across the country, 2020 was a deadly year not only because of the pandemic but because of dramatic increases in gun violence. The roots of this problem, according to Dr. Robert Kinscherff, professor of Clinical Psychology and a faculty member in the Doctoral Clinical Concentrations in Forensic Psychology and Children and Families of Adversity and Resilience (CFAR), lie in the way we view gun violence. 

“America does not have a single gun violence problem,” Kinscherff told the APA Monitor on Psychology. “It has different gun violence problems that impact different groups of people differently. Until we recognize this, our efforts to limit gun death and injury are unlikely to be very effective.”

Kinscherff, a forensic and clinical psychologist and an attorney, is a leading voice among those advocating for a comprehensive and nuanced public health approach to addressing and preventing gun violence. He was interviewed for an article in the APA Monitor January-February 2021 issue, where he discussed how such an approach could lead to a dramatic reduction in gun violence now and in the future.

"There’s a growing recognition that the same social determinants that drive outcomes for physical and behavioral health also drive gun violence," Kinscherff told the Monitor.

In addition to his academic appointments at William James College, Kinscherff is Associate Vice President for the College's Department of Community Engagement. He previously served as chair of the American Psychological Association Gun Violence Policy Review Task Force.

Kinscherff discussed his research on violence risk assessment and management and other factors related to addressing gun violence in the United States on the main stage at APA 2019

Read the full Monitor article, "3 questions for Robert Kinscherff," on the APA website.