Cultural Links to Adolescent Weapon Carrying and Weapon Use: A Cross-National Study

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Abstract

Although existing cross-cultural studies of adolescence have focused on topics including fighting, bullying, and gangs, little cross-national research has centered on weapon carrying. However, weapon carrying among youth has been identified as a worldwide concern, with significant variation by nation and region. This variation is not well understood. This article investigates the nation-level cultural and contextual determinants of adolescent weapon carrying, specifically focusing on human development, governmental corruption, and a nation’s orientation toward violence. Data are drawn from 27 countries in the International Self-Report Delinquency Study, Wave Two. Analyses use multilevel logistic and ordered logistic regression models to assess associations with weapon carrying frequency, likelihood of carrying a weapon with friends, and age of weapon carrying onset. Results show that residing in a nation with less corruption is associated with a decrease in weapon carrying frequency, a later age of onset, and a lower likelihood of carrying a weapon with friends. Mixed results were found for interactions with a nation’s orientation toward violence. Possible explanations for these results, practical implications, and directions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-135
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Criminal Justice Review
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Law

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