Students who carry weapons to high school: comparison with other weapon-carriers

J Adolesc Health. 1999 May;24(5):340-8. doi: 10.1016/s1054-139x(98)00121-9.


Purpose: To determine if those who have recently carried a weapon on school grounds differ from those who carry weapons elsewhere. We hypothesized that involvement in other problem behaviors and exposure to school crime and violence would be associated with risk for weapon carrying on school grounds.

Methods: The data for this study were from the 1995 Youth Risk Behavior Survey of 10,904 high school students. Logistic regression analysis was used to examine risk for weapon carrying on school grounds.

Results: Among the students who carried a weapon, 48% carried a weapon on school grounds. Female gender, lower parental education levels, substance use on school grounds, involvement in physical fights, exposure to school crime and violence, frequency of weapon-carrying, and gun carrying distinguished students who carried weapons on school grounds from those who carried weapons off school grounds.

Conclusions: The results suggest that weapon-carrying on school grounds is associated with individual and school-related characteristics. Efforts to reduce weapon-carrying on school grounds might focus on reduction of students' actual and perceived vulnerability to victimization, as well as by helping students understand that other problem behaviors increase their risk for violence.

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism
  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Crime / psychology
  • Crime / statistics & numerical data
  • Crime Victims / statistics & numerical data
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Firearms / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Juvenile Delinquency / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Schools / statistics & numerical data*
  • Social Environment
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data*