Adolescents and Firearms: A California Statewide Survey
Objectives. We assessed the prevalence and correlates of adolescents reports regarding firearms in their homes, of their own, of close friends, and of same-aged peers. Methods. Random-digit-dialed interviews were conducted with 5801 adolescents as part of the California Health Interview Survey. Results. One fifth (19.6%) of California adolescents reported having a firearm in their homes; few (3.0%) reported having their own gun. Characteristics associated with having one's own gun and with perceptions regarding others' guns generally were consistent with characteristics associated with having a firearm in the home. The 2 exceptions were related to socioeconomic status and to ethnicity. Conclusions. The source from which adolescents obtain guns, especially adolescents from less wealthy households, merits further investigation. Further research is needed to ascertain the accuracy of Black and Latino adolescents' perceptions regarding handguns among their peers.