|A new survey of youth shows that handgun carrying is linked to other problem behavior|
A new survey will follow a cohort of youth as they make the transition from school to work
The first wave of the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY97) interviewed a nationally representative sample of 9,000 youth who were between the ages of 12 and 16 at year-end 1996. The survey asked youth to report whether they had engaged in a variety of deviant and delinquent behaviors, including carrying a handgun. Plans are to interview members of this cohort every 2 years to track changes in delinquent and criminal activity over the life course.
The survey also found that more than half of all 16-year-olds who had ever committed assault, carried a handgun, or belonged to a gang had done so for the first time by age 12. In contrast, less than one-fifth of all 16-year-olds who had ever used marijuana, sold any drugs, or sold hard drugs (i.e., cocaine, LSD, or heroin) had done so for the first time by age 12.