Title

Effect of gun carrying on perceptions of risk among adolescent offenders.

SelectedWorks Author Profiles:

Joan A. Reid

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2016

ISSN

0090-0036

Abstract

Objectives. We observed how perceptions of risks, costs, crime rewards, and violence exposure change as individual gun-carrying behavior changes among high-risk adolescents. Methods. We analyzed a longitudinal study (2000–2010) of serious juvenile offenders in Maricopa County, Arizona, or Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, assessing within-person changes in risk and reward perceptions, and violence exposure as individuals initiated or ceased gun carrying. Results. Despite being associated with heightened exposure to violence, gun carrying was linked to lower perceptions of risks and costs and higher perceived rewards of offending. Gun carrying was not time-stable, as certain individuals both started and stopped carrying during the study. Within-person changes in carrying guns were associated with shifting perceptions of risks, costs, and rewards of crime, and changes in exposure to violence in expected directions. Conclusions. Gun carrying reduces perceptions of risks associated with offending while increasing actual risk of violence exposure. This suggests that there is an important disconnect between perceptions and objective levels of safety among high-risk youths. Gun-carrying decisions may not only be influenced by factors of protection and self-defense, but also by perceptions of risks and reward associated with engaging in crime more generally.

Comments

Abstract only. Full-text article is available through licensed access provided by the publisher. Published in American Journal of Public Health, 106(2), 350-352. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2015.302971. Members of the USF System may access the full-text of the article through the authenticated link.

Language

en_US

Publisher

American Public Health Association

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.