238315 Epidemiology of gun carrying among Puerto Rican students: Prevalence, socio-demographics and risk factors

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Soe Rodriguez Alamo, BS , School of public health, UPR-Medical Science Campus, San Juan, PR
Paola Piovanetti, BS , School of public health, UPR-Medical Science Campus, San Juan, PR
Mary Vanellys Diaz Santana, Bs , School of public health, UPR-Medical Science Campus, San Juan, PR
Juan C. Reyes, EdD, MS , Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Puerto Rico, Graduate School of Public Health, San Juan, PR
Over the past decade, youth violence has received increasing attention as a major public health issue because of its rising incidence. During 2007, the Youth Risk Behaviors Survey has shown that almost 20% of high school students reported carrying a gun. In 2008, 34.5% of the societal negligence committed by minors in Puerto Rico was associated with weapons. This study describes the prevalence of gun carrying and identifies possible risk and protective factors associated with this dangerous practice in the Puerto Rican youth student population. This is a secondary analysis of the national school-based survey ‘Consulta Juvenil VII'. This survey is design to examine the risk and protective factors of substance use and other behavioral problems in Puerto Rican students. A total of 15,558 students participated in this survey. “Consulta Juvenil VII” used a self-administered questionnaire that was translated and adapted from the "Student Survey of Risk and Protective Factors and Prevalence of Alcohol, Tobacco & other drug use" of Catalano and Hawkins; et. Al. (2006). The overall prevalence of carrying a gun was (2.4%). Males students were more likely to have carried a gun than females (4.3% vs 0.7%). Logistic regression models reveal that male gender, smoking, illegal drug use, GPA, being suspended from school and friends carrying a gun were positively associated with the prevalence of students carrying guns. New initiatives can use variables associated with carrying guns to target prevention and intervention programs to improve safety in adolescent and reduce youth violence.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe gun carrying behavior of high school students in Puerto Rico Identify risk and protective factors associated with gun carrying in Puerto Rican youth

Keywords: Violence, Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As an epidemiology graduate student, I am qualified to review and analyzed the data used to developed this study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.