Year: 2023 Source: Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. (2020), 50(1), 277-291. SIEC No: 20230193

We investigated whether high school students reporting easy access to guns were more likely to die prematurely from either suicide, homicide, or an accidental death.
Based upon the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, we contrasted those reporting easy access to guns, n = 5,185, 25%, with the remaining 75% (n = 15,589) on various sociodemographic characteristics, behaviors, and premature mortalities.
We found higher rates of suicides, homicides, and accidental deaths among those reporting easy access to guns at Wave 1 or Wave 2. This was only true for males. Those with easy access to guns were more likely to share common sociodemographic characteristics, came from two-parent homes where children had strong and close relationships with parents, where children were more likely to get into fights, do delinquent misdeeds, and engage in other risk-taking behaviors such as increased drinking, drug use, and riding motorcycles. Logistic regression analysis showed easy access to guns remained a significant predictor of premature mortalities when sex, family income differences, risk-taking, and delinquency were used as covariates.
This study supports previous research and carves out new ground showing easy access to guns acts synergistically with other lifestyle differences to diminish youth life chances.