Handgun Carrying Among Youth in the United States: An Analysis of Subtypes

Michael G. Vaughn, Christopher P. Salas-Wright, Brian B. Boutwell, Matt DeLisi, Mary P. Curtis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Despite a wealth of research finding that adolescents who carry handguns are involved in risky behaviors, there has been little exploration into the heterogeneity of this behavior. Using a pooled sample of 12- to 17-year-olds from the National Study on Drug Use and Health who report past-year handgun carrying (N = 7,872), this study identified four subgroups of handgun carriers: low risk (n = 3,831; 47.93%), alcohol and marijuana users (n = 1,591; 20.16%), fighters (n = 1,430; 19.40%), and severe externalizers (n = 1,020, 12.51%). These subgroups differed on demographic, behavioral, and psychosocial characteristics. Findings are discussed in light of prevention and focused deterrence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-37
Number of pages17
JournalYouth Violence and Juvenile Justice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, © The Author(s) 2016.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Law


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