Cover: Prevalence and Correlates of Firearm Ownership in the Homes of Fifth Graders

Prevalence and Correlates of Firearm Ownership in the Homes of Fifth Graders

Birmingham, AL, Houston, TX, and Los Angeles, CA

Published In: Health Education and Behavior, v. 41, no. 3, June 2014, p. 299-306

Posted on Jun 1, 2014

by David C. Schwebel, Terri Lewis, Thomas R. Simon, Marc N. Elliott, Sara L. Toomey, Susan R. Tortolero, Paula Cuccaro, Mark A. Schuster

Firearms in the home are associated with increased injury risk, especially when loaded and unlocked. In this study, 5,010 fifth-graders and their caregivers in three U.S. metropolitan areas participated in the 2004-2006 Healthy Passages study on adolescent health. Firearm ownership and storage patterns were examined by four self-reported sociodemographic characteristics (child's race/ethnicity, child's gender, family socioeconomic status, and study site) and reasons for ownership. Eighteen percent (n = 880) of the families reported firearms in the home. Families with African American and Hispanic children had lower odds of owning firearms than families with non-Hispanic White children. The most common reasons for ownership were protection from crime and hunting. Six percent (n = 56) of the families with firearms stored at least one firearm unlocked, assembled, without a trigger lock, and with unlocked ammunition. Compared with families with non-Hispanic White children, families with African American children engaged in safer storage practices. Results can inform childhood firearm injury prevention activities.

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