Recreational gun use by California adolescents

Katherine A. Vittes, Susan B. Sorenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Most research on adolescents and firearms focuses on urban populations, handguns, and homicide. This study examines the prevalence and correlates of recreational gun use (RGU) - for hunting or target shooting - among 5,801 community-residing 12-to 17-year-old Californians. Data are from the first statewide California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), and person, design, and population weights were applied to the data. About one fifth (22.4%) of California adolescents report that they have gone hunting or target shooting. Nearly two thirds (62.8%) have hunted with a family member, typically (67.3%) their father. Recreational gun use among adolescents appears to be linked to a few basic demographic characteristics; most notably, male adolescents had an adjusted odds ratio of RGU nearly five times that of female adolescents. Some of the variables associated with RGU are consistent with those for violent gun use; differences, however, suggest that separate approaches to preventing firearm-related injury may be warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)751-766
Number of pages16
JournalHealth Education and Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescents
  • Firearms
  • Hunting
  • Unintentional injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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