- Adolescent mental health suffers when young people have access to guns, adding to risk for depression and suicidal ideation and to the perception that school is unsafe.
- Attending a school where access to guns was common, however, was tied to reduced odds of viewing school as unsafe.
Why this matters
- The authors say that the findings show that gun access is a “complex social phenomenon.”
- Gun access in an environment of low gun availability may signal a high-risk mental and physical state.
- Study author: "For better or for worse, guns are an important part of American culture."
- Having personal access to a gun was tied to increased odds (ORs) for:
- Depression: 1.21 (P=.03);
- Suicidal ideation: 1.74 (P<.001 and>
- Perceiving school as unsafe: 1.60 (P<.001>
- Data from National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) Wave I youth surveys.
- Findings are non-peer-reviewed results presented at a conference.
- Confounding possible.