Relations Between Violence Exposure and Gun Carriage: Identifying Protective Factors Among African American Youth Living in Low-Income Urban Communities

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Relations Between Violence Exposure and Gun Carriage: Identifying Protective Factors Among African American Youth Living in Low-Income Urban Communities

Category: Youth|Journal: Youth and Society|Author: D Bishop, K Ross, T Sullivan|Year: 2023

This study identified risk, promotive, and protective factors for handgun carriage among 265 primarily African American adolescents (Mage = 14.3) living in low-income urban areas. Community-based violent victimization and witnessing violence and in-person and cyber forms of peer victimization increased the probability of handgun carriage. Community collective efficacy, including caregiver-reported social connectedness and informal social control, and community developmental strengths/supports, including youth-reported community recognition for prosocial involvement and community developmental assets, moderated relations between both violent victimization and witnessing violence and handgun carriage. School developmental strengths/supports, including school developmental assets and family prosocial involvement in school, moderated relations between in-person and cyber victimization and handgun carriage. Family developmental strengths/supports, including family developmental assets and family recognition and opportunities for prosocial involvement, were associated with lower odds of handgun carriage. Study findings revealed distinct protective factors related to community violence exposure or peer victimization that can inform youth violence prevention efforts.

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