First time gun carrying and the primary prevention of youth gun violence for African American youth living in extreme poverty

Richard Spano*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

First time gun carrying is specified as a logical starting point for the primary prevention of youth gun violence, which is also consistent with the public health approach to the prevention of firearm injuries for at risk African American youth. However, it is difficult to disentangle youth gun violence from other aspects of violence that are concentrated in high poverty settings. Insights from developmental life-course criminology (DLC) are used to: (1) categorize first time gun carrying as a critical inflection point in the development of youth violence; and (2) categorize exposure to violence in the community as a developmental pathway for first time gun carrying for youth attempting to prevent and/or deter future violent victimization. The ecological-transactional model of community violence provides a more nuanced breakdown of the impact of exposure to violence in the community on first time gun carrying given the embeddedness of contexts that shape child and adolescent development in high poverty settings. Finally, several areas for future research are outlined that include a need to better integrate gun carrying into existing theories as well as future longitudinal studies of high risk African American youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-88
Number of pages6
JournalAggression and Violent Behavior
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

Keywords

  • African American youth
  • Exposure to violence
  • Gun carrying
  • High poverty
  • Primary prevention
  • Violent behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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