Journal article Open Access

Close Range: Adolescent Predictors of Adult Firearms Ownership in the United States

Michael A. Cretacci; Nicole Hendrix

Editor(s)
Jaishankar, K

The goal of this study was to assert that gun ownership in the United States is partially explained by the transmission of a “gun culture” from one generation to the next. Using longitudinal data from the highly-regarded National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, we also make a contribution to the dated nature of the literature on the predictors of adult firearms ownership. This paper examines a model of adult gun ownership that includes measures of adolescent firearms access, the presence of adult males in the household, rural residency, age, race, and gender. Generally, adolescents who are African American, male, and living in rural areas were more likely to live in homes with firearms at Waves One and Two. Adolescents living in rural areas also demonstrated the likelihood of owning firearms as adults at Wave Three. As expected, access to firearms at Wave One increased the likelihood of access at Wave Two. Living with an adult male at Wave One had no effect on adolescent access to guns at Wave Two or Wave Three adult ownership. Adolescent access to guns at Waves One and Two increased the likelihood that they would own firearms as adults. Adolescent access to guns at Waves One and Two increased the likelihood that they would own firearms as adults at Wave Three. Findings suggest that cultural experiences surrounding gun ownership as adolescents increases the likelihood that firearms are owned as adults.

Files (396.8 kB)
Name Size
Cretacci&Hendrixijcjs2017vol12issue2.pdf md5:ee848006a41071b9c181d5098cf9c149 396.8 kB Download
  • Bankston, W. B., Thompson, C. Y., Jenkins, Q. A. L., & Forsyth, C. J. (1990). The influence of fear of crime, gender, and Southern culture on carrying firearms for protection. The Sociological Quarterly, 31, 287-305. Bankston, W. B., & Thompson, C. Y. (1989). Carrying firearms for protection: A causal model. Sociological Inquiry, 59, 75-87. Bordua, D. J., & Lizotte, A. J. (1979). Patterns of legal firearms ownership: A cultural and situational analysis of Illinois counties. Law & Policy,1, 147-175. Brennan, P. G., Lizotte, A. J., & McDowall, D. (1993). Guns, Southernness, and gun control. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 9, 289-307. Bugg, D. (2008). Gun ownership over the life course: Generations and the lifecycle. Saarbrücken, Germany: VDM Verlag. Bugg, D., & Yang, P. (2004). Trends in Women's gun ownership, 1973-2002. International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice, 42, 1167-1222. Cao, L., Cullen, F. T., & Link, B. G. (1997). The social determinants of gun ownership: Self protection in an urban environment. Criminology, 35, 629-658. Celinska, K. (2007). Individualism and collectivism in America: The case of gun ownership and attitudes toward gun control. Sociological Perspectives 50, 229-247. Cunningham, P. B., Henggeler, S. W. Limber, S. P., Melton, G. B., & Nation, M. A. (2000). Patterns and correlates of gun ownership among Non-metropolitan and Rural Middle School students. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 29, 432-442. DeFronzo, J. (1979). In search of the behavioral and attitudinal consequences of victimization. Sociological Symposium, 25, 23-39. Dixon, J., & Lizotte, A. J. (1987). Gun ownership and the Southern Subculture of Violence. American Journal of Sociology, 93, 383-405. Durant, R. H., Barkin, S., Craig, J. A., Weiley, V. A., Ip, E. H., & Wasserman, R. C. (2007). Firearm ownership and storage patterns among families with children who receive Well-Child Care in pediatric offices. Pediatrics, 119, 1271-1279. Ellison, C. G. (1991). Southern culture and firearm ownership. Social Science Quarterly, 72, 267–83. Gallup Poll. (2012). Guns. Retrieved from http://www.gallup.com/poll/1645/guns.aspx. Harvard University Peabody Museum of American Archeology and Ethnology. (1952). Culture: A critical review of concepts and definitions.: Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Hofstede, G. (1997). Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind. New York, NY: McGrawHill. Holmes, H. (2013, February, 6). Gun sales up in Maryland: 7-day waiting period creates backlog. Associate Press. Retrieved from http://wjla.com/news/local/gun-sales-up-in-maryland-7-day-waiting-period-creates-backlog-84943. Jiobu, R. M., & Curry, T. J. (2001). Lack of confidence in the Federal Government and the ownership of firearms. Social Science Quarterly, 82, 77-88. Johnson, R. M., Coyne-Beasley, T., & Runyan, C. W. (2004). Firearm ownership and storage practices, U.S. Households, 1992–2002: A systematic review. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 27, 173-182. Kelley, M. S., Peterson, J. L., & Tylor, E. B. (1871). Primitive culture: Researches into the development of mythology, philosophy, religion, art, and custom. London, England: Murray. Kim, N., Mickelson, J. B., Brenner, B. E., Haws, C.A., Yurgelun-Todd, D. A., & Renshaw, P.F., (2011). Altitude, gun ownership, Rural areas, and suicide. American Journal of Psychiatry,168, 49-54. Kleck, G. (1997). Targeting guns: Firearms and their control. Piscataway, NJ: Aldine deGruyter. Klein, E. (2012, December, 15). A dozen facts about guns and mass shootings in the United States. The Washington Post. Retrieved from http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2012-12-15/news/fl-wp-ezra-1216-20121215_1_mass-shootings-gun-control-laws-gun-violence/2. Kohn, A. A. (2004). Shooters: Myths and realities of America's gun cultures. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Kroeber, A. L., Kluckhohn, C., & Hofstede, G. (1984). National cultures and corporate cultures. In L. A. Samovar & R. E. Porter (Eds.), Communication between cultures (pp. 51-52). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Lauter, D. (2012, July, 23). Crime is down and so is gun ownership. The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved fromhttp://articles.latimes.com/2012/jul/23/news/la-pn-crime-is-down-and-so-is-gun-ownership-20120722. Lizotte, A. J., & Bordua, D. J. (1980). Firearms ownership for sport and protection: Two divergent models. American Sociological Review, 45, 229-244. Lizotte, A. J., Bordua, D. J., & White, C. S. (1981). Firearms ownership for sport and protection: Two not so divergent models. American Sociological Review, 46, 499-503. Ludwig, J., Cook, P. J., & Smith, T. W. (1998). The gender gap in reporting household gun ownership. American Journal of Public Health, 88, 1715-1718. Matheny, K. (2013, February, 9). Golden State gun sales have soared in recent years as talk of tougher restrictions has increased. The Desert Sun. Retrieved from http:// proxy. buffalostate.edu:2225/docview/1286696672?pq-origsite=summon. Melzer, S. (2009). Gun Crusaders: The NRA's culture war. New York, NY: New York University Press. Miller, M., Lippmann, S. J., Azrael, D., & Hemenway. D. (2007). Household firearm ownership and rates of suicide across the 50 United States." Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, 62, 1029-1035. National Opinion Research Center. (1999). National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health: Grand sample weight. Chapel Hill, NC: Tourangeau, R., & Shin, H. C. Ruback, R. B., Shaffer, J. N., & Clark, V. A. 2011. Easy access to firearms: Juveniles' risks for violent offending and violent victimization. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 26, 2111-2138. Sheley, J. F., Brody, C. J. Wright, J. D., & Williams, M. A. (1994). Women and handguns: Evidence from national surveys, 1973-1991. Social Science Research, 23, 219-235. Small Arms Survey. (2007). Small Arms Survey. Retrieved from http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/publications/by-type/yearbook/small-arms-survey-2007.html. Smith, D. A., & Uchida, C. D. (1988). The social organization of self-help: A study of defensive weapon ownership. American Sociological Review, 53, 94-102. Smith, T. W., & Smith, R. J. (1995). Changes in firearms ownership among Women, 1980-1994. Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, 86, 133-149. Sociometrics Corporation. (1997). The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), Waves I & II, 1994-1996: A user's guide to the machine-readable files and documentation (Data Sets 48-50, 98, A1-A3). Los Altos, CA: Sociometrics Corporation. Vacha, E. F., & McLaughlin, T. F. (2000). The impact of poverty, fear of crime, and crime victimization on keeping firearms for protection and unsafe gun-storage practices: A review and analysis with policy recommendations. Urban Education, 35, 496-510. Violence Policy Center. (2015). A shrinking minority: The continuing decline of gun ownership in America. Washington, DC: Violence Policy Center. Warr, M. (1992). Altruistic fear of victimization in households. Social Science Quarterly, 73, 723–36. Webster, D. W., Wilson, M. E. H., Duggan, A. K., & Pakula, L. C. (1992). Parents' beliefs about preventing gun injuries to children. Pediatrics, 89, 908-914. Whitehead, J. T., & Langworthy, R. H. (1989). Gun ownership and willingness to shoot: A clarification of current controversies. Justice Quarterly, 6, 263-282. Wiktor, S. Z., Gallaher, M. M., Baron, R. C., Watson, M. E., & Sewell, C. M. (1994). Firearms in New Mexico. Western Journal of Medicine, 161, 137-139. Wright, J. D., & Marston, L. L. (1975). The ownership of the means of destruction: Weapons in the United States. Social Problems, 23, 93-107. Wright, J. D., Rossi, P. H., & Daly, K. (1983). Under the gun: Weapons, crime, and violence in America. Piscataway, NJ: Aldine de Gruyter. Young, R. L. (1986). Gender, region of socialization, and ownership of protective firearms. Rural Sociology, 59, 169-182. Young, R. L., & Thompson, C. Y. (1995). Religious fundamentalism, punitiveness, and firearms ownership. Journal of Crime and Justice, 18, 81-98.

Share

Cite as