12 Oct Adverse Life Experiences are a Major Risk Factor for Youth Firearm Violence
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Steven A. Sumner, MD, MSc
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Violence Prevention
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: In 2014, CDC was invited to Wilmington, Delaware, to conduct a study because the city had been experiencing a high level of homicides and shootings. Our investigation looked at multiple risk factors for youth violence involvement across a wide variety of areas of young people’s lives. For example, youth who had previously experienced a gunshot wound injury were 11 times more likely to later commit a gun crime than youth who had not been similarly injured. Study investigators looked at histories of violence victimization, educational problems, unemployment histories, child welfare experiences, and prior criminal involvement. The more adverse life experiences a young person had, the more likely they were to commit firearm violence.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Young people who are involved in serious violence have often had a large number of adverse life experiences that precede this violence. Cities and states can work to better identify these experiences and help youth get the positive supports they need to avoid violence involvement. Collaboration can help make services more efficient and effective.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: There is a need to better assist young people who are struggling by providing them comprehensive services like educational assistance, mentorship and counseling, job training, family support, and other assistance. More work is needed to find optimal ways to deliver these types of services in a coordinated and comprehensive manner.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: Adverse life experiences are a major risk factor for youth violence involvement. Collaboration among agencies and better use of data can help young people get the help that they need.
MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.
Sentinel Events Preceding Youth Firearm Violence
Sumner, Steven A. et al.
American Journal of Preventive Medicine , Volume 51 , Issue 5 , 647 – 655
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