Longitudinal mixed-methods study of Firearms among Ethnically Diverse Adolescents and Young Adults

  • Temple, Jeffrey (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


Firearm injury and violence (FIV) is a public health epidemic. For the last two decades, unintentional injury, suicide, and homicide were the top 3 leading causes of death for adolescents and emerging adults. Firearms are implicated in each of these forms of mortality, and involvement with firearms in adolescence is strongly predictive of FIV in adulthood. FIV has numerous consequences to individuals, families and society at large; with a 5-year total economic burden of more than $88 billion. Given the pervasive costs of FIV and that risk for all forms of violence begin early in life, it is crucial that prevention efforts be developmentally informed and target an array of modifiable risk and protective factors specific to gender, race/ethnicity, life stage, and developmental transitions and turning points. To address this public health crisis, we added questions to our ongoing 15-year longitudinal study of adolescent health. This large sample of 1,042 ethnically and socioeconomically diverse participants were recruited and assessed in spring 2010 (mean age=15) with follow- up assessments conducted annually (except for two years) through 2024 (mean age=29). Beginning in Wave 10 (2021), we now assess current partners of participants to allow for dyadic analyses. We will leverage this ongoing study by 1) conducting in-depth interviews with a subsample (n=60) of known gun carriers in the sample (n=206, representing 27% of all Wave 11 respondents); 2) strengthening our FIV measures; 3) extending the longitudinal survey through 2025 (mean age=30); 4) extracting arrest records for all participants; and 5) collecting school-, neighborhood-, and community-level data for each participant and their partner. Specific aims are to: Aim 1: Conduct a series of 60 in-depth semi-structured interviews with known gun- carriers (Mean age = 27) recruited from Wave 11 of the ongoing study to better understand their ideas, practices, contexts, and experiences of acquiring, carrying, using, sharing, and storing firearms; Aim 2: Leverage 16 years of longitudinal data on a large sample of ethnically diverse participants originally recruited as adolescents and followed through young adulthood to identify key individual, behavioral and situational, trauma-related, and neighborhood/community risk factors for FIV; Aim 2A: Examine the relative impact of early individual risk and protective factors, as well as school, neighborhood, and community risk factors (identified in Aim 2) of FIV; Aim 2B: Examine subgroup differences in the early risk and protective factors associated with subsequent gun carriage, access, and use; Aim 2C: Examine whether individual-, relationship-, and community-level factors moderate the association between key trauma-related and neighborhood/community risk factors and FIV; Aim 3: Translate results into jargon-free language and disseminate evidence-based products (i.e., policy briefs, summary reports) to policymakers and practitioners to inform FIV prevention legislation. This mixed-methods study, consistent with CDC’s goal of reducing firearm violence among adolescents and young adults, falls within Funding Option B of this NOFO.
Effective start/end date9/30/239/29/26


  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: $649,465.00


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