Reducing Weapon-Carrying Among Urban American Indian Young People

Linda H. Bearinger, Sandra L. Pettingell, Michael D. Resnick, Sandra J. Potthoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: To examine the likelihood of weapon-carrying among urban American Indian young people, given the presence of salient risk and protective factors. Methods: The study used data from a confidential, self-report Urban Indian Youth Health Survey with 200 forced-choice items examining risk and protective factors and social, contextual, and demographic information. Between 1995 and 1998, 569 American Indian youths, aged 9-15 years, completed surveys administered in public schools and an after-school program. Using logistic regression, probability profiles compared the likelihood of weapon-carrying, given the combinations of salient risk and protective factors. Results: In the final models, weapon-carrying was associated significantly with one risk factor (substance use) and two protective factors (school connectedness, perceiving peers as having prosocial behavior attitudes/norms). With one risk factor and two protective factors, in various combinations in the models, the likelihood of weapon carrying ranged from 4% (with two protective factors and no risk factor in the model) to 80% of youth (with the risk factor and no protective factors in the model). Even in the presence of the risk factor, the two protective factors decreased the likelihood of weapon-carrying to 25%. Conclusions: This analysis highlights the importance of protective factors in comprehensive assessments and interventions for vulnerable youth. In that the risk factor and two protective factors significantly related to weapon-carrying are amenable to intervention at both individual and population-focused levels, study findings offer a guide for prioritizing strategies for decreasing weapon-carrying among urban American Indian young people.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-50
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Volume47
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010

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