Perceived Gun Access and Gun Carrying Among Male Adolescent Offenders

Spencer Keil, Jordan Beardslee, Carol Schubert, Edward Mulvey, Dustin Pardini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Gun violence takes a significant toll on adolescents in the United States, and there is a lack of longitudinal research on perceptual factors that drive gun carrying. Notably, there is no information on the relationship between perception of gun accessibility and gun carrying. Using data collected between 2000 and 2006 in the Pathways to Desistance Study, we examine the effects of perceived access to guns in a sample of adolescent offenders. A generalized estimating equations approach tested the effect of perceived gun access along with other known risk factors for gun carrying across time. Even after adjusting for these other risk factors, perceived gun access was significantly related to future carrying. Our findings support self-reported gun availability as a significant, population-based risk factor related to gun carrying in high-risk youth. Further research on how perceived access mediates the decision to carry guns would be valuable for formulating effective gun policy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-195
Number of pages17
JournalYouth Violence and Juvenile Justice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020


  • adolescents
  • gun access
  • gun violence
  • juvenile offenders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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