Developmental Comorbidity of Substance Use and Handgun Carrying Among U.S. Youth

Authored by past PISC trainee Beidi Dong, PhD, this study aimed to identify the longitudinal trajectories of multiple forms of substance use and handgun carrying, as well as examine their comorbidity over time. Using a cohort study of 6,748 youth from a U.S. nationally representative sample, the study found that trajectories of all four forms of substance use (smoking, drinking, marijuana, and hard drug use) were associated with handgun-carrying trajectories. The implications of this are quite strong; since both substance use and gun carrying are developmentally heterogeneous phenomena, it may be possible to affect gun carrying patterns by targeting various forms of substance use.

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