Correlates of Handgun Carrying Among Adolescents in the United States

Publication Abstract

Vaughn, Michael G., Brian E. Perron, Arnelyn Abdon, Rene Olate, Ralph Groom, and Li-Tzy Wu. 2012. "Correlates of Handgun Carrying Among Adolescents in the United States." Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 27(10): 2003-2021.

Weapon-related violence, especially the use of handguns, among adolescents is a serious public health concern. Using public-use data file from the adolescent sample (N = 17,842) in the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), this study examines the behavioral, parental involvement, and prevention correlates of handgun carrying. Overall, 3.1% of adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 reported carrying a handgun in the past year. Results from a series of logistic regression models indicated that males, selling and using illicit drugs, were robustly associated with an increased probability of handgun carrying among adolescents. Furthermore, youth who carry handguns were significantly less likely to report a parent being involved in their lives and were significantly more likely to have encountered violence and drug prevention programming compared with youth who did not carry handguns. Implications of these results for prevention and policy are discussed.

10.1177/0886260511432150

PMCID: PMC3480725. (Pub Med Central)

Country of focus: United States of America.

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