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NCJ Number: 206887 Find in a Library
Title: Risky Firearms Behavior in Low-Income Families of Elementary School Children: The Impact of Poverty, Fear of Crime, and Crime Victimization on Keeping and Storing Firearms
Journal: Journal of Family Violence  Volume:19  Issue:3  Dated:June 2004  Pages:175-184
Author(s): Edward F. Vacha; T. F. McLaughlin
Date Published: June 2004
Page Count: 10
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study obtained information on the possession and storage of firearms in the homes of low-income urban families with at least one child between 8 and 12 years old.
Abstract: Data were obtained from parents of elementary school children who were living in five low-income neighborhoods and one middle-class neighborhood in a single Northwest city. The study also analyzed transcripts from discussion groups composed of fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade students who attended the same schools. Most of the data were obtained with the Parent Survey, a questionnaire administered to parents of students who attended five low-income elementary schools and a comparison school located in a middle-class neighborhood. The survey requested information on the neighborhood of residence, family income and economic status, information on the availability and storage of firearms, fear of crime, and number of times victimized by a crime. Data obtained from parent surveys were supplemented with data obtained from children who participated in group discussions at the participating schools. Only 23 percent of the low-income respondents reported having a gun in the home; whereas, 50 percent of the middle-class parents reported having a gun in the home; however, compared with middle-income gun owners, gun-owning parents of the low-income school children were much more likely to report that a gun was kept loaded, that it was kept for protection, and that it was a handgun; they were also less likely to report that the handgun was locked up. Data thus indicate that the presence of guns likely to be accessible and dangerous to children was much more common in the households of low-income school children. High rates of victimization, fear of crime, self-protective behavior, and exposure to threats or attack were more likely to be reported by low-income parents than middle-income parents, and these factors were associated with engaging in risky gun practices in the home. 3 tables, 23 references, and appended list of questions discussed at the school focus groups
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Citizen gun ownership; Class comparisons; Comparative analysis; Economic influences; Fear of crime; Handguns; Social conditions; Victimization
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