Limits...
Gun possession among American youth: a discovery-based approach to understand gun violence.

Ruggles KV, Rajan S - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: Downstream analyses included the hierarchical clustering of risk behaviors based on their association "fingerprint" to 1) visualize and assess which behaviors frequently co-occur and 2) evaluate which risk behaviors are consistently found to be associated with gun possession.Use of computational methodologies identified multiple risk behaviors, beyond more commonly discussed indicators of poor mental health, that are associated with gun possession among youth.Implications for prevention efforts and future interdisciplinary work applying computational methods to behavioral science data are described.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Bioinformatics and Health Informatics, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, New York, United States of America.

ABSTRACT

Objective: To apply discovery-based computational methods to nationally representative data from the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions' Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System to better understand and visualize the behavioral factors associated with gun possession among adolescent youth.

Results: Our study uncovered the multidimensional nature of gun possession across nearly five million unique data points over a ten year period (2001-2011). Specifically, we automated odds ratio calculations for 55 risk behaviors to assemble a comprehensive table of associations for every behavior combination. Downstream analyses included the hierarchical clustering of risk behaviors based on their association "fingerprint" to 1) visualize and assess which behaviors frequently co-occur and 2) evaluate which risk behaviors are consistently found to be associated with gun possession. From these analyses, we identified more than 40 behavioral factors, including heroin use, using snuff on school property, having been injured in a fight, and having been a victim of sexual violence, that have and continue to be strongly associated with gun possession. Additionally, we identified six behavioral clusters based on association similarities: 1) physical activity and nutrition; 2) disordered eating, suicide and sexual violence; 3) weapon carrying and physical safety; 4) alcohol, marijuana and cigarette use; 5) drug use on school property and 6) overall drug use.

Conclusions: Use of computational methodologies identified multiple risk behaviors, beyond more commonly discussed indicators of poor mental health, that are associated with gun possession among youth. Implications for prevention efforts and future interdisciplinary work applying computational methods to behavioral science data are described.

Show MeSH

Related in: MedlinePlus

Gun possession is positively associated with the majority of risk behaviors assessed by the YRBSS.Plotting of raw odds ratio (OR) values for 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007 2009 and 2011 for each risk behavior and gun possession, excluding behaviors with infinite OR values (“Carried a weapon”). Behaviors are binned and colored based on their minimum OR across time (>10, red; <5, orange; <2, green; >1, blue; <1, grey). Question labels are indicated in corresponding boxes in order of OR value in 2011 (+ in the past week; * in the past month; ∧ in the past year).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4221159&req=5

pone-0111893-g004: Gun possession is positively associated with the majority of risk behaviors assessed by the YRBSS.Plotting of raw odds ratio (OR) values for 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007 2009 and 2011 for each risk behavior and gun possession, excluding behaviors with infinite OR values (“Carried a weapon”). Behaviors are binned and colored based on their minimum OR across time (>10, red; <5, orange; <2, green; >1, blue; <1, grey). Question labels are indicated in corresponding boxes in order of OR value in 2011 (+ in the past week; * in the past month; ∧ in the past year).

Mentions: OR normalization is useful for year-to-year comparisons but results in a loss of information regarding overall values of association and directionality of the relationship. For this reason, we also plotted raw OR values between gun possession and each risk behavior and found that the majority of behaviors (43 out of 54) have OR values greater than 1, which have been sustained from 2001–2011 (Figure 4, Table S4). Our findings specifically illustrate that in addition to risk behaviors with the highest associations (alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use; feeling unsafe and being threatened at school), youth reporting gun possession are also more likely to have been the victim of sexual assault, to be engaging in disordered eating behaviors, to not wear sunscreen regularly, and to have recently ridden in a car with a drunk driver (Figure 4). Moreover and upon further examination, our work demonstrates that youth carrying guns are significantly more likely to engage in any number of risk behaviors in comparison to youth not reporting gun possession (Figure 5). More commonly discussed indicators of poor mental health, including suicide ideation and feeling sad or hopeless, were also and unsurprisingly found to be associated with gun possession. However, the strength of these associations in comparison to other risk factors was notably less (Figure 4, Table S4). These collective findings are supported by a growing body of research that indicates that health issues among youth are not isolated concerns and must be treated via synergistic and coordinated programs and policies that look collectively at substance use, violence, poor mental health, sexual risk behaviors, risk of unintentional injuries, and other issues. [28]–[30].


Gun possession among American youth: a discovery-based approach to understand gun violence.

Ruggles KV, Rajan S - PLoS ONE (2014)

Gun possession is positively associated with the majority of risk behaviors assessed by the YRBSS.Plotting of raw odds ratio (OR) values for 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007 2009 and 2011 for each risk behavior and gun possession, excluding behaviors with infinite OR values (“Carried a weapon”). Behaviors are binned and colored based on their minimum OR across time (>10, red; <5, orange; <2, green; >1, blue; <1, grey). Question labels are indicated in corresponding boxes in order of OR value in 2011 (+ in the past week; * in the past month; ∧ in the past year).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4221159&req=5

pone-0111893-g004: Gun possession is positively associated with the majority of risk behaviors assessed by the YRBSS.Plotting of raw odds ratio (OR) values for 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007 2009 and 2011 for each risk behavior and gun possession, excluding behaviors with infinite OR values (“Carried a weapon”). Behaviors are binned and colored based on their minimum OR across time (>10, red; <5, orange; <2, green; >1, blue; <1, grey). Question labels are indicated in corresponding boxes in order of OR value in 2011 (+ in the past week; * in the past month; ∧ in the past year).
Mentions: OR normalization is useful for year-to-year comparisons but results in a loss of information regarding overall values of association and directionality of the relationship. For this reason, we also plotted raw OR values between gun possession and each risk behavior and found that the majority of behaviors (43 out of 54) have OR values greater than 1, which have been sustained from 2001–2011 (Figure 4, Table S4). Our findings specifically illustrate that in addition to risk behaviors with the highest associations (alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use; feeling unsafe and being threatened at school), youth reporting gun possession are also more likely to have been the victim of sexual assault, to be engaging in disordered eating behaviors, to not wear sunscreen regularly, and to have recently ridden in a car with a drunk driver (Figure 4). Moreover and upon further examination, our work demonstrates that youth carrying guns are significantly more likely to engage in any number of risk behaviors in comparison to youth not reporting gun possession (Figure 5). More commonly discussed indicators of poor mental health, including suicide ideation and feeling sad or hopeless, were also and unsurprisingly found to be associated with gun possession. However, the strength of these associations in comparison to other risk factors was notably less (Figure 4, Table S4). These collective findings are supported by a growing body of research that indicates that health issues among youth are not isolated concerns and must be treated via synergistic and coordinated programs and policies that look collectively at substance use, violence, poor mental health, sexual risk behaviors, risk of unintentional injuries, and other issues. [28]–[30].

Bottom Line: Downstream analyses included the hierarchical clustering of risk behaviors based on their association "fingerprint" to 1) visualize and assess which behaviors frequently co-occur and 2) evaluate which risk behaviors are consistently found to be associated with gun possession.Use of computational methodologies identified multiple risk behaviors, beyond more commonly discussed indicators of poor mental health, that are associated with gun possession among youth.Implications for prevention efforts and future interdisciplinary work applying computational methods to behavioral science data are described.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Bioinformatics and Health Informatics, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, New York, United States of America.

ABSTRACT

Objective: To apply discovery-based computational methods to nationally representative data from the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions' Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System to better understand and visualize the behavioral factors associated with gun possession among adolescent youth.

Results: Our study uncovered the multidimensional nature of gun possession across nearly five million unique data points over a ten year period (2001-2011). Specifically, we automated odds ratio calculations for 55 risk behaviors to assemble a comprehensive table of associations for every behavior combination. Downstream analyses included the hierarchical clustering of risk behaviors based on their association "fingerprint" to 1) visualize and assess which behaviors frequently co-occur and 2) evaluate which risk behaviors are consistently found to be associated with gun possession. From these analyses, we identified more than 40 behavioral factors, including heroin use, using snuff on school property, having been injured in a fight, and having been a victim of sexual violence, that have and continue to be strongly associated with gun possession. Additionally, we identified six behavioral clusters based on association similarities: 1) physical activity and nutrition; 2) disordered eating, suicide and sexual violence; 3) weapon carrying and physical safety; 4) alcohol, marijuana and cigarette use; 5) drug use on school property and 6) overall drug use.

Conclusions: Use of computational methodologies identified multiple risk behaviors, beyond more commonly discussed indicators of poor mental health, that are associated with gun possession among youth. Implications for prevention efforts and future interdisciplinary work applying computational methods to behavioral science data are described.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus