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J Behav Med. 2019 Aug;42(4):603-612. doi: 10.1007/s10865-019-00054-z. Epub 2019 Aug 1.

Characteristics and behavioral risk factors of firearm-exposed youth in an urban emergency department.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 3501 Civic Center Blvd CTRB 9th Floor, Philadelphia, PA, 19106, USA. abayar@email.chop.edu.
2
College of Nursing and Health Professions, Drexel University, 3020 Market St. Suite 510, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA.
3
Department of Psychology, The College of New Jersey, Social Sciences Building, Room 126, Ewing, USA.
4
College of Nursing and Health Professions, Drexel University, 1601 Cherry Street, Room 728, Philadelphia, USA.
5
Department of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 3501 Civic Center Blvd CTRB 9th Floor, Philadelphia, PA, 19106, USA.
6
Department of Pediatrics, Division of Emergency Medicine, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Roberts Pediatric Research Building, 2716 South Street, 13th Floor, Philadelphia, PA, 19146, USA.

Abstract

Assessing firearm access among adolescents with behavioral health risk factors is important for the primary prevention of suicide and interpersonal violence. We describe self-reported firearm access and the associated behavioral risk factors and demographic characteristics in a cross-sectional study conducted in the emergency department of an urban pediatric hospital from June 2013 to June 2014. A total of 2258 adolescents received a behavioral health survey to assess access to firearms inside and outside the home, mental health symptoms, and risk behaviors. One of 6 patients in our sample (15%) endorsed access to a firearm. Male gender, lifetime alcohol use, lifetime marijuana use, and lifetime other drug use were associated with access. Participants reporting access were more likely to report clinical levels of lifetime suicidality and depression. The odds of current suicidality were highest in those with 24-h access (OR 2.77 CI 1.73-4.46), compared to those who did not endorse access.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescent health; Behavioral health; Emergency medicine; Firearm; Suicide

PMID:
31367926
DOI:
10.1007/s10865-019-00054-z

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