School Handgun Carrying Among Youth Growing Up in Rural Communities

Kimberly Dalve, Alice M. Ellyson, Emma L. Gause, Vivian H. Lyons, Julia P. Schleimer, Margaret R. Kuklinski, Sabrina Oesterle, John S. Briney, Elizabeth H. Weybright, Ali Rowhani-Rahbar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: To characterize school handgun carrying and violence risk factors among rural youth. Methods: Using a sample of rural youth (n = 1995), we quantified the proportion who carried a handgun to school, carried but not to school, and did not carry across grades 7–12 and endorsed risk factors for violence in individual, peer, school, and community domains. Results: Overall, 3% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 2%–4%) of youth ever carried to school; 15% (95% CI: 14%–16%) carried but not to school; and 82% (95% CI: 80%–84%) never carried. Violence risk factors (e.g., attacking someone) were more commonly endorsed by youth who carried to school (84%; 95% CI: 73%–95%) than those who carried but not to school (51%; 95% CI: 44%–58%) and did not carry (23%; 95% CI: 20%–26%). Discussion: Carrying a handgun to school in rural areas is not common; however, it is associated with risk factors for violence. Understanding violence risk factors among youth who carry handguns to school could inform violence prevention programs in rural areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)636-639
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • Firearms
  • Handgun carrying
  • Rural population
  • School
  • Violence prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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