ERIC Number: ED426468
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Oct
High School Youths, Weapons, and Violence: A National Survey. National Institute of Justice Research in Brief.
Sheley, Joseph F.; Wright, James D.
Previous studies have yielded little knowledge about firearm-related behavior applicable to the "average" youth, either because the research focused on select populations, or because only the most general of weapon-related questions were asked. To fill this void, a study was conducted on the firearm experience of average youths based on results taken from a 1996 survey of male 10th and 11th graders from 53 high schools nationwide. The findings show that the number of males who either carry or are in possession of a gun was relatively low compared with earlier research results. Gun-possession levels were highest for firearms more suited for hunting and sporting uses, were more common in rural and smaller communities, and were related to gun-carrying and possession levels of every type of firearm. However, once the recreational-gun-use variable was held constant, gun possession among respondents declined. Family and friends were the primary sources of guns, and 50 percent of the juveniles felt that they could obtain firearms relatively easily. Criminal behavior characterized only a small number of the respondents, and a few juveniles carried weapons to gain respect from their peers, but for most respondents the primary reason for possessing firearms was protection. (RJM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Department of Justice, Washington, DC. National Inst. of Justice.