Mental Disorders, Gun Ownership, and Gun Carrying Among Soldiers After Leaving the Army, 2016–2019

GVPedia Study Database

Mental Disorders, Gun Ownership, and Gun Carrying Among Soldiers After Leaving the Army, 2016–2019

Category: Behavior, Concealed Carry, Firearm Availability, Injury, Suicide|Journal: American Journal of Public Health (full text)|Author: A King, C Dempsey, D Benedek, H Ziobrowski, M Nock, M Stein, N Sampson, R Bossarte, R Kessler, R Ursano|Year: 2021

Objectives

To examine associations of current mental and substance use disorders with self-reported gun ownership and carrying among recently separated US Army soldiers. Veterans have high rates of both gun ownership and mental disorders, the conjunction of which might contribute to the high suicide rate in this group.

Methods

Cross-sectional survey data were collected in 2018–2019 from 5682 recently separated personnel who took part in the Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers. Validated measures assessed recent mood, anxiety, substance use, and externalizing disorders. Logistic regression models examined associations of sociodemographic characteristics, service characteristics, and mental disorders with gun ownership and carrying.

Results

Of the participants, 50% reported gun ownership. About half of owners reported carrying some or most of the time. Mental disorders were not associated significantly with gun ownership. However, among gun owners, major depressive disorder, panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and intermittent explosive disorder were associated with significantly elevated odds of carrying at least some of the time.

Conclusions

Mental disorders are not associated with gun ownership among recently separated Army personnel, but some mental disorders are associated with carrying among gun owners.

Share