Factors Associated with State Variations in Homicide, Suicide, and Unintentional Firearm Deaths


This study examined the relationship of 16 variables with homicide, suicide, and unintentional firearm deaths. This cross-sectional analysis, using adjusted partial correlation coefficients, found that state-level firearm homicide rates significantly varied by the prevalence of firearms and by percent of the population which was African American. Whereas, state-level variations in firearm suicide mortality significantly varied by firearm prevalence, per capita alcohol consumption, percent of the population which was African American, and level of urbanization. None of the variables were significantly (p ≤ .05) related to state-level variations in unintentional firearm mortality. Furthermore, state gun laws had only a limited effect on firearm-related homicide deaths. Although the current study cannot determine causation, firearm mortality in its various forms is most commonly related to the prevalence of firearms and the percent of the population that is African American.

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Correspondence to James H. Price.

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Price, J.H., Thompson, A.J. & Dake, J.A. Factors Associated with State Variations in Homicide, Suicide, and Unintentional Firearm Deaths. Journal of Community Health 29, 271–283 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1023/B:JOHE.0000025326.89365.5c

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  • firearms
  • firearm control
  • homicide
  • suicide
  • unintentional injury