Family and school factors associated to favourable attitudes toward firearms in Mexican adolescents


  • G.J. Gonzalez-Perez
  • M.G. Vega-Lopez


Background: Currently, Mexico has high levels of violence; in particular, more than 20.000 young people under 25 years old have been killed by firearms in the last 5 years. This study aims to identify familiar and school factors associated to favourable attitudes towards firearms in adolescent students from Guadalajara, Mexico. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study; in September 2015, a questionnaire was administered to a random sample of students under 20 years old from University of Guadalajara, Mexico (n=717); using a Lickert scale –five items with five options each-, students with favourable attitudes toward firearms were identified. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to determine the association between studied factors and favorable attitudes toward firearms. Findings: 17% (CI95% 14,3-19,9) of teenage students had favourable attitudes toward firearms (agree to carry weapons in the street, to be able to acquire them without restrictions, etc.). Factors like to prefer violent videogames (OR 1,8, CI95% 1,2-2,8), that relatives –and themselves- know shoot guns (OR 2,0, CI95% 1,3-3,1) and to study in public high school (OR 1,9, CI95% 1,0-3,5) were statistically associated to favourable attitudes toward firearms. Discussion: Firearms mortality is a social and public health problem for youth in Mexico; in a context where family and school factors seem to have an important responsibility in the positive attitude towards firearms of many adolescent students, the health psychology should play an essential role in the design of strategies to prevent their use, which must have family and school as priority objectives





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