A multilevel analysis of school- based weapon possession

Pamela Wilcox, Richard R. Clayton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

76 Scopus citations


In this study we present and estimate a multilevel model of weapon possession by students. Our approach extends existing research through an emphasis on the simultaneous effects of individual-level factors including fear, victimization, criminal lifestyle, pro-gun socialization, and social engagement, as well as school-level contextual factors including various indicators of school structure, school capital, and school deficits. We estimate multilevel main effects using hierarchical logistic regression methods and data from more than 6,000 students in 21 schools in Louisville, Kentucky. Results indicate that the likelihood of carrying a weapon to school varies not only across individuals but across schools. School-level structural characteristics—especially SES—were significant in accounting for some of this cross-school variation. Further, the effects of SES on weapon carrying were mediated by school capital and school deficits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-541
Number of pages33
JournalJustice Quarterly
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2001


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law

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