Pelletier, K. R., Schmidt, C. J., Seewald, L., Cunningham, R. M., Zimmerman, M. A., Walton, M. A., Resnicow, K. & Carter, P. M. (2022). Understanding factors associated with firearm possession: Examining differences between male and female adolescents and emerging adults seeking emergency department care. Preventive Medicine, 107286.
Firearm possession increases the likelihood of hospital visits among adolescents and emerging adults. To better inform prevention practices, we examine data among adolescents and emerging adults (A/EAs; ages 16 to 29) presenting to an urban emergency department for any reason to understand the differences in firearm possession between males and females (N = 1312; 29.6% male; 50.5% Black). Regression identified firearm possession correlates, such as male sex (AOR = 2.26), firearm attitudes (AOR = 1.23), peer firearm possession (AOR = 9.84), and community violence exposure (AOR = 1.02). When stratified by sex (e.g., male vs female), regression results yielded differences in correlates for firearm possession: in males, peer firearm possession (AOR = 8.96) was significant, and in females, firearm attitudes (AOR = 1.33) and peer firearm possession (AOR = 11.24). An interaction between sex and firearm attitudes demonstrated that firearm attitudes was a significant factor between the sexes (AOR = 1.28). Overall, we found that females are more likely to endorse retaliatory firearm attitudes, and both males and females are highly influenced by their perception of peer firearm possession. These results can be used to inform prevention strategies across the ED, community, and school and suggest that approaches tailored to the sexes are appropriate when addressing the problem of firearm violence and injury among A/EAs.
Keywords: Adolescents and emerging adults; Firearm injury; Firearm possession; Firearm violence; Injury prevention; Sex differences.