Gun Carrying and Gun Victimization Among American Adolescents: A Fresh Look at a Nationally Representative Sample


A scant literature has identified gun carrying as a potential risk factor for victimization at the individual level. To date, however, research has generally focused on high-risk individuals rather than samples drawn from the general population. Additionally, prior studies have not often enough included controls robust enough to feel strongly that the relationship between gun carrying and victimization, gun victimization in particular, is not simply the spurious outcome of factors that influence both variables. The current study uses data from Add Health participants (N = 13,568) to look at the effect of gun carrying on gun victimization among adolescents. Results suggest that even when robust controls are considered, a measure of gun carrying significantly and positively correlates with gun victimization. The results support a model of the gun carrying-gun victimization relationship wherein gun carrying increases risks for gun victimization independent of factors that may influence both risky behaviors and victimization. Implications for theory and policy are discussed.

Publication Title

Victims and Offenders