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Perceived Gun Access and Gun Carrying Among Male Adolescent Offenders

NCJ Number
Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice Dated: 2019
Spencer Keil; Jordan Beardslee; Carol Schubert; Edward Mulvey; Dustin A Pardini
Date Published
9 pages
Using data collected between 2000 and 2006 in the Pathways to Desistance Study, the current study examined the effects of perceived access to guns in a sample of adolescent offenders.
Gun violence takes a significant toll on adolescents in the United States, and there is a lack of longitudinal research on perceptual factors that drive gun carrying. Notably, there is no information on the relationship between perception of gun accessibility and gun carrying. In the current study, a generalized estimating equations approach tested the effect of perceived gun access, along with other known risk factors for gun carrying across time. Even after adjusting for these other risk factors, perceived gun access was significantly related to future carrying. These findings support self-reported gun availability as a significant, population-based risk factor related to gun carrying in high-risk youth. Further research on how perceived access mediates the decision to carry guns would be valuable for formulating effective gun policy. (publisher abstract modified)