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Gunning for trouble: Study of young assault victims finds risky mix of gun possession and aggression
Date:7/8/2013

valuate the possible use of the emergency visit as a "teachable moment" to help at-risk youth understand the potential consequences of gun violence, such approaches have been tried successfully for other situations including substance use and youth violence. The study may lead to tests of a new approach for helping teens and young adults avoid future firearm-related violence.

The data for the new paper were gathered as part of a National Institutes of Health-funded project that is headed by Rebecca Cunningham, M.D., the director of the U-M Injury Center and an associate professor of emergency medicine.

Cunningham, who is the senior author of the new paper, also holds an appointment at the U-M School of Public Health and is the associate director of the Flint Youth Violence Prevention Center, which works with local community leaders to reduce violence through several on-going community-based programs.

The study has collected interviews with hundreds of teens and young adults who were treated at the Hurley Medical Center Emergency Department in Flint, a busy urban trauma center where U-M emergency physicians and residents are part of the care team.

Flint has the highest rate of violent crime of any American city over 100,000 people, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation -- including 1,930 reported aggravated assaults in 2012.

But Carter notes that the risk factors seen among Hurley emergency patients are probably not unique to Flint, and are likely representative of other cities with high rates of firearm violence. He hopes that other researchers will examine similar high-risk populations in other cities to confirm the study's findings.

Carter notes that previous studies have documented gun ownership or access among ED patients, but that they have not specifically examined young people injured by assault, who are known to be at higher risk for negative health outcomes. Other school based studies of gun
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Contact: Kara Gavin
kegavin@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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