Violent Behaviors, Weapon Carrying, and Firearm Homicide Trends in African American Adolescents, 2001–2015
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African American youths have the highest risk for firearm and other weapon related homicides. This study utilized the national Youth Risk Behavior Surveys from 2001 to 2015 to assess trends in violence related behaviors and weapon carrying of African American adolescents. Our analyses found statistically significant reductions in physical fighting and weapon carrying among African American male adolescents from 2007 to 2015. Planning suicide increased in both male and female African American adolescents since 2007. In addition, the number of firearm homicides increased in African American males. African American females and males had groups of items highly predictive of weapon carrying behaviors: alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use and violent risk behaviors. Both female and male students who made mostly A’s or B’s in school were significantly less likely to carry weapons in and out of school. Our findings indicate that firearm homicides have increased in African American adolescents, but weapon carrying in school going adolescents has significantly declined. School engagement and satisfactory school performance seems to have a significant protective effect on firearm homicides and violent behavior risks in African American adolescents.
KeywordsHomicide Firearm Violence Injury Adolescents Substance use
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declares that they have no conflict of interest.
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