Purpose: To characterize school handgun carrying and violence risk factors among rural youth. Methods: Using a sample of rural youth (n = 1995), we quantified the proportion who carried a handgun to school, carried but not to school, and did not carry across grades 7–12 and endorsed risk factors for violence in individual, peer, school, and community domains. Results: Overall, 3% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 2%–4%) of youth ever carried to school; 15% (95% CI: 14%–16%) carried but not to school; and 82% (95% CI: 80%–84%) never carried. Violence risk factors (e.g., attacking someone) were more commonly endorsed by youth who carried to school (84%; 95% CI: 73%–95%) than those who carried but not to school (51%; 95% CI: 44%–58%) and did not carry (23%; 95% CI: 20%–26%). Discussion: Carrying a handgun to school in rural areas is not common; however, it is associated with risk factors for violence. Understanding violence risk factors among youth who carry handguns to school could inform violence prevention programs in rural areas.
- Handgun carrying
- Rural population
- Violence prevention
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health