Year: 2017 Source: Crisis.(2016).37(6):402-414. SIEC No: 20170083

Background: Youth reporting combined histories of nonfatal violence, suicidal ideation/behavior, and gun-carrying (VSG) are at risk for perpetrating fatal interpersonal violence and self-harm. Aims: We characterized these youth to inform prevention efforts. Method: We analyzed 2004 data from 3,931 seventh-, ninth-, and 11–12th-grade youth and compared VSG youth (n = 66) with non-gun carrying youth who either had no histories of violence or suicidal thoughts/behavior (n = 1,839), histories of violence (n = 884), histories of suicidal thoughts/behaviors (n = 552), or both (n = 590). We compared groups based on demographic factors, risk factors (i.e., friends who engage in delinquency, peer-violence victimization, depressive symptoms, illicit substance use), and protective factors (i.e., school connectedness, parental care and supervision). Regression models identified factors associated with VSG youth. Results: Illicit substance use and having friends who engage in delinquency were more common among VSG youth in all comparisons; almost all VSG youth had high levels of these factors. Depressive symptoms were positively associated with VSG youth versus youth without either violent or suicide-related histories and youth with violent histories alone. School connectedness and parental supervision were negatively associated with VSG youth in most comparisons. Conclusion: Family-focused and school-based interventions that increase connectedness while reducing delinquency and substance use might prevent these violent tendencies.

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