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Guns and Intimate Partner Violence among Adolescents: a Scoping Review

Journal of Family Violence Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Purpose

Intimate partner violence (IPV) among adolescents, or teen dating violence (TDV), is a significant public health issue that may affect up to two-thirds of youth aged 12–18. Gun violence among adolescents is similarly high, accounting for 18.7% of all firearm injuries from 2010 to 2016. Despite these statistics and evidence showing that TDV continues into adulthood as IPV, gun-related TDV has not received the same level of attention as adult IPV. In this scoping review, we are guided by the following questions: (1) what are the known risk and protective factors for gun-related TDV across micro (individual, interpersonal), mezzo (school, neighborhood), and macro (policy, social norms) domains? (2) What are the future directions for this area of research?

Methods

We conducted a scoping review of eight academic databases to identify peer-reviewed studies examining risk and protective factors for gun-related TDV published in 1999–2019.

Results

Our search returned few unique results (N = 16). Most of the published studies described the shared individual risk factors of gun carrying/access and TDV. Mezzo studies discussed TDV within the context of peer aggression or youth delinquency and gun carrying. There were zero macro studies meeting our search parameters.

Conclusion

Our review suggests that adolescence may confer a unique blend of risk factors for both firearm and relationship violence, yet the intersection of these issues has received relatively little attention compared to gun violence in adult relationships. Areas for future inquiry involve increased surveillance of this issue and interventions addressing the shared risks for gun carrying/access and TDV.

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Bender, A.K., Koegler, E., Johnson, S.D. et al. Guns and Intimate Partner Violence among Adolescents: a Scoping Review. J Fam Viol 36, 605–617 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-020-00193-x

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