Pediatric leaders and researchers tackled the complex and often politically charged subject of gun violence during a special symposium on at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Washington, DC.
The symposium, “Protecting the Health of Our Children Through Scientific Approaches to Gun Safety and Violence Prevention” will focus on guns and youth, violent media, guns and suicide, the pathway to violence, and community efforts to prevent gun violence.
Among the speakers is Dimitri A. Christakis, MD, MPH, FAAP, who summarized what science has to say about the link between screen violence and aggression and what future research should focus on. He also will touch on the disconnect between what science finds and what the public believes.
“Decades of research have established a link between screen violence and real world aggression. Our challenge is to translate these findings into actionable public health strategies,” said Dr. Christakis, George Adkins Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Washington and director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior, and Development at Seattle Children’s Research Institute.
Topics and presenters included:
- “Overview of Gun Violence and Youth,” presented by Arthur L. Kellermann, MD, MPH, RAND Health Corp., Santa Monica, Calif.
- “Violent Media – What We Know and What Do We Need to Learn?” presented by Dimitri A. Christakis, MD, MPH, FAAP, Seattle Children’s Research Institute, University of Washington, Seattle.
- “Guns and Suicide,” presented by Matthew Miller, MD, MPH, ScD, Harvard Injury Control Research Center, Boston.
- “The Pathway to Violence – Early Identification of Violence in Children and Young Adults,” presented by E. Jane Costello, PhD, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C.
- “Community-Based Efforts to Reduce Gun Violence and Keeping Guns Out of the Hands of Young Adults,” presented by Daniel W. Webster, ScD, MPH, Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, Baltimore.