Demographic, Intrinsic, and Extrinsic Factors Associated With Weapon Carrying at School | Adolescent Medicine | JAMA Pediatrics | JAMA Network
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January 2003

Demographic, Intrinsic, and Extrinsic Factors Associated With Weapon Carrying at School

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Adolescent Medicine, Children's Hospital at Strong, University of Rochester Medical Center (Dr Kodjo), and the Department of Pediatrics, Rochester General Hospital (Dr Ryan and Ms Auinger), Rochester, NY.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2003;157(1):96-103. doi:10.1001/archpedi.157.1.96

Background  Recent incidents of school violence have heightened the need to identify societal, interpersonal, and adolescent characteristics that contribute to weapon carrying.

Objectives  To assess the prevalence of weapon carrying at school and to determine associated risk factors for adolescent males and females.

Design  A cross-sectional study using the 1994-1995 National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health data.

Participants  A nationally representative sample of 6504 adolescents and their parents.

Main Outcome Measure  Whether adolescents have ever carried a weapon at school.

Statistics  χ2 Analyses and hierarchical regressions were done using SPSS (SPSS Inc, Chicago, Ill) and SUDAAN (Research Triangle Park, NC) software. Regression models included demographic, intrinsic, and extrinsic factors.

Results  Of the overall sample, 9.3% (n = 595) reported having carried a weapon at school. Of these, 77% were male (male vs female adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 3.1; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.3-4.1). Substance use, school problems, perpetration of violence, and witnessing violence were significantly associated with weapon carrying for both males and females. However, for males, extrinsic factors were more important in mediating the effects of substance use and perpetration of physical violence on school weapon carrying, while intrinsic factors mediate these variables for females.

Conclusion  These findings suggest that interventions for violence prevention for males and females need to be targeted toward different areas.