Conversely, various “direct protective” and “buffering protective” factors may minimize the effects of certain risk factors (Hall et al., 2012, p. S3). For example, high grade point average; religiousness; consistent, close, respectful relationships with parents; and involvement in social activities are protective factors against violence among youth (CDC, 2011b).

Research Questions

Three important research topics were identified by the committee: (1) factors associated with youth having access to, possessing, and carrying guns; (2) the impact of gun storage techniques on suicide and unintentional injury; and (3) “high-risk” geographic/physical locations for firearm violence.

Factors Associated with Youth Having Access to, Possessing, and Carrying Guns

In 2010, firearms accounted for 84 percent of youth (ages 10-19) homicides, and guns are the most frequent suicide method (39 percent).31 In 2011, the Youth Behavioral Risk Survey revealed that almost 17 percent of high school students had carried a firearm, knife, or club in the past 30 days. More than 5 percent had carried a gun. The same survey showed that 15.8 percent of high school students surveyed had seriously considered attempting suicide in the previous year, and 7.8 percent had actually made a suicide attempt (CDC, 2012b).

Among rural youth, firearm ownership levels are high. Studies among rural youth reveal that about half of students in some rural communities own guns, with almost 80 percent of rural males reporting gun ownership and often multiple gun ownership (58 percent) (Slovak and Carlson, 2004). Other studies have associated youth exposure to violence

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31 NCIPC. 2013. WISQARS injury mortality reports: Homicide injury deaths and rates per 100,000—2010, United States, all races, both sexes, ages 10 to 19 (accessed May 8, 2013); NCIPC. 2013. WISQARS injury mortality reports: Homicide firearm deaths and rates per 100,000—2010, United States, all races, both sexes, ages 10 to 19 (accessed May 8, 2013); NCIPC. 2013. WISQARS injury mortality reports: Suicide injury deaths and rates per 100,000—2010, United States, all races, both sexes, ages 10 to 19 (accessed May 8, 2013); NCIPC. 2013. WISQARS injury mortality reports: Suicide firearm deaths and rates per 100,000—2010, United States, all races, both sexes, ages 10 to 19 (accessed May 8, 2013).



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