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Adolescent gun violence prevention: what we know, and what we can do to keep young people safe

Dodson, Nancy A.

doi: 10.1097/MOP.0000000000000372
ADOLESCENT MEDICINE: Edited by Sara F. Forman and Sarah Pitts
Editor's Choice

Purpose of review This review will focus on recent research, initiatives, and legislation regarding the issue of gun violence as it pertains to adolescents.

Recent findings Homicide and suicide continue to be major killers of adolescents in the United States. Gun homicide kills teens in the most urban areas of the United States at the same rate as suicide kills teens in the most rural areas of the United States. Research on assault-injured youth sheds light on risk factors for teen gun homicide, and has found high rates of illegal gun carrying and retaliatory attitudes among at-risk teens. Suicide research continues to show a strong correlation between gun ownership and accessibility, and risk of completed suicide. Stand Your Ground laws and campus carry laws present unique threats to different populations of American teens.

Summary Given the enormous toll that gun violence takes on adolescent lives, pediatricians should ask about guns in the home and become involved in efforts to strengthen laws that would decrease gun violence.

Children's Hospital at Montefiore, Bronx, New York, USA

Correspondence to Nancy A. Dodson, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital at Montefiore, 3415 Bainbridge Avenue, Bronx, NY 10467, USA. Tel: +1 718 920 2021; e-mail: ndodson@montefiore.org

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