Center for Injury Research and Prevention

Characteristics and Behavioral Risk Factors of Firearm-exposed Youth in an Urban Emergency Department

TitleCharacteristics and Behavioral Risk Factors of Firearm-exposed Youth in an Urban Emergency Department
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsAbaya R, Atte T, Herres J, Diamond GS, Fein JA
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Volume42
Issue4
Start Page603
Pagination603-12
Date Published08/2019
KeywordsAdolescent health, Behavioral health, emergency medicine, Firearm, Suicide
Abstract

Assessing firearm access among adolescents with behavioral health risk factors is important for the primary prevention of suicide and interpersonal violence. We describe self-reported firearm access and the associated behavioral risk factors and demographic characteristics in a cross-sectional study conducted in the emergency department of an urban pediatric hospital from June 2013 to June 2014. A total of 2258 adolescents received a behavioral health survey to assess access to firearms inside and outside the home, mental health symptoms, and risk behaviors. One in six patients in our sample (15%) endorsed access to a firearm. Male gender, lifetime alcohol use, lifetime marijuana use, and lifetime other drug use were associated with access. Participants reporting access were more likely to report clinical levels of lifetime suicidality and depression. The odds of current suicidality were highest in those with 24-h access (OR 2.77 CI 1.73–4.46), compared to those who did not endorse access.

DOI10.1007/s10865-019-00054-z