Departmental Papers (SPP)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

December 2005


Most research on adolescents and firearms focus on urban populations, handguns, and homicide. The present investigation examines the prevalence and correlates of recreational gun use (RGU) - for hunting or target shooting - among 5801 community-residing 12- to 17-year old Californians. Data are from the first statewide California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), and person, design, and population weights were applied to the data. About one-fifth (22.4%) of California adolescents report that they have gone hunting or target shooting. Nearly two thirds (62.8%) have hunted with a family member, typically (67.3%) their father. Recreational gun use among adolescents appears to be linked to a few basic demographic characteristics; most notably, males had an AOR of RGU nearly five times that of females. Some of the variables associated with RGU are consistent with those for violent gun use; differences, however, suggest that separate approaches to preventing firearm-related injury may be warranted.


Postprint version. Published in Health Education and Behavior, Volume 32, Issue 26, December 2005, pages 751-766.
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NOTE: At the time of publication, authors Katherine A. Vittes and Susan B. Sorenson were affiliated with the University of California. Currently (August 2007), they are faculty members in the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania.


adolescents, firearms, hunting, unintentional injuries



Date Posted: 15 August 2007

This document has been peer reviewed.