Youth Gun Violence: Looking Beyond Mental Health


After the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, the White House expanded a list of recommendations for making communities safer from gun violence to include a slew of measures targeting mental health.

For years, the discussion of teen gun violence has focused on mental health issues, but a new study in the journal PLOS ONE, identified more than 40 behavioral factors, “beyond more commonly discussed indicators of poor mental health, that are associated with gun possession among youth.”

Researchers for the study analyzed the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System survey, a comprehensive adolescent behavior dataset, which includes data from teens who acknowledge carrying a gun in the previous 30 days.

Factors that the study found are strongly associated with gun possession, include: heroin use, using snuff on school property, having been injured in a fight, and having been a victim of sexual violence.”

Read the full study HERE.

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