Firearm Violence Exposure and Suicidal Ideation Among Young Adults Experiencing Homelessness

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Firearm Violence Exposure and Suicidal Ideation Among Young Adults Experiencing Homelessness

Category: Homicide, Injury, Suicide|Journal: Journal of Adolescent Health (full text)|Author: A Barman-Adihikari, A Fulginiti, D Maria, H Hsu, J Shelton, K Bender, K Ferguson, R Petering, S Narendorf|Year: 2020

Purpose

This study aimed to explore the association between direct exposure, indirect exposure, and perpetration of gun violence and suicidal ideation among young adults experiencing homelessness (YAEH).

Methods

YAEH (n = 1,426) in seven cities across the U.S. were surveyed. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine the association between lifetime gun violence exposure and suicidal ideation in the past 12 months.

Results

Forty-five percent (n = 641) of YAEH had experienced direct or indirect gun violence, whereas 17% (n = 247) had engaged in gun violence perpetration. Gun violence perpetration is associated with elevated suicidal ideation risk (odds ratio = 1.46; 95% confidence interval = 1.02–2.01) among YAEH.

Conclusions

A high percentage of YAEH were exposed to firearm violence. Cross-sector, multiagency collaborations are warranted to reduce firearm violence exposure among this vulnerable population. Homeless service providers should screen for gun violence exposure and suicide risk and target prevention efforts on YAEH with a history of gun violence perpetration.

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