Firearm Involvement in Delinquent Youth and Collateral Consequences in Young Adulthood: A Prospective Longitudinal Study

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

We request funding to expand the Northwestern Juvenile Project, a comprehensive large-scale prospective longitudinal study of juvenile detainees. We are studying 1829 youth (1172 males, 657 females), 10 to 18 years of age at baseline, who were initially arrested and detained between 1995 and 1998 in Cook County (Chicago), Illinois. Since they were recruited, we have tracked and reinterviewed our participants, whether they are back in their communities or incarcerated.
To date, the Northwestern Juvenile Project has focused on psychiatric disorders and associated problems and outcomes. We now propose to leverage data already collected, and add new components (geocoded data and qualitative interviews) to examine firearm involvement and its association with subsequent firearm violence and firearm victimization, injury and mortality. The proposed study addresses a key omission in prior research. Several studies have examined characteristics of firearm involvement among at-risk youth; however, few were longitudinal, and none extended into young adulthood. Moreover no longitudinal study examined youth involved with the juvenile justice system, among whom firearm involvement figures prominently.
The proposed project has three goals: (1) Describe gun involvement (access, ownership and use) during adolescence and young adulthood. Drawing from up to 14 interviews per participant and geocoded community data, we will examine: (a) individual (e.g., cognitive functioning, substance use and disorder, psychiatric disorders, adverse childhood experiences and trauma, attitudes toward deviance); (b) peer/family (e.g., parental deviance, domestic violence, social support, peer deviance and gang membership); and (c) community (e.g., socioeconomic environment, racial/ethnic environment, safety and crime) risk and protective factors for gun involvement. (2) Examine the perpetration of firearm violence over time. We will examine how access to guns and related risk and protective factors during adolescence (Goal 1) are associated with the perpetration of firearm violence in young adulthood. We will investigate the concurrent and prospective relationship between access to guns and the perpetration of firearm violence as youth age. (3) Examine patterns of firearm victimization (injury and mortality) over time. We will examine how access to guns and related risk and protective factors during adolescence (Goal 1) are associated with the firearm injury and victimization in young adulthood. We will investigate the concurrent and prospective relationship between access to guns and firearm victimization as youth age. The study provides an unprecedented opportunity to guide juvenile justice reform and reduce firearm violence by investigating proximal and distal causes and consequences of firearm involvement in adolescence.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/1/176/30/19

Funding

  • National Institute of Justice (2016-R2-CX-0039)

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