Dong, B., & Wiebe, D. J. (2018). Violence and beyond: Life-course features of handgun carrying in the urban United States and the associated long-term life consequences. Journal of criminal justice, 54, 1-11.
Purpose: Although previous research has made progress in identifying correlates of risky gun-related behavior and its impact on violence and injury, particularly during adolescence, it is not clear how individuals differ in their gun carrying behavior over time or how developmental features of carrying affect experiences and accomplishments later in the life.
Methods: Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97), we delineated age-specific patterns of handgun carrying in the urban United States and investigated how onset age, duration, and timing of handgun carrying affected criminal offending, substance use, police arrest, and educational and economic achievements in established adulthood.
Results: There is important heterogeneity in individuals’ handgun carrying behavior over time in the urban United States. Developmental features of handgun carrying are significant predictors of negative life outcomes in a variety of domains.
Conclusions: Individuals who carry firearms should not be assumed as of one general type. Efforts to prevent risky gun-related behavior and associated negative long-term consequences can be better targeted if we take into account developmental heterogeneity in such behavior.