Kelsey Conrick, MPH, a doctoral student in the University of Washington School of Social Work, has been selected to receive the inaugural HIPRC Rivara Endowment Injury Research Grant for her project “Exploring Influences on Firearm Safety Behaviors.”
Some of Conrick’s research interests involve increasing firearm safety behaviors among high-risk religious groups, especially among conservative Protestant Christians. A lot of why she is interested in the topic stems from her background.
“I grew up in Pintlala, Alabama in a very religious, rural town with a strong pro-gun culture,” Conrick says. “I’ve had many conversations with those in my community who connect their religious convictions with their duty to protect and right to own firearms and also with those that have religious convictions with their duty to advocate for gun control.”
Upon finding this project, Conrick found that several studies have found firearm ownership and safety behaviors such as carrying and safe storage patterns differ by religious affiliation. Public health interventions rarely address religiosity as a risk factor or tailor interventions to high-risk religious groups.
To fill this research gap, her mixed-methods study will 1) use a survey to identify factors moderating the association of religiosity and firearm safety behaviors and 2) use in-depth interviews to identify intervention points to increase firearm safety behaviors among high-risk religious groups.
By completing this project, Conrick says this will help advance her doctoral studies and future career as a firearm researcher by identifying and narrowing the most promising intervention considerations in this high-risk group.
She is being mentored by Megan Moore, Ph.D., MSW, University of Washington School of Social Work, and Ali Rowhani-Rahbar, M.D., Ph.D., University of Washington School of Public Health.
The award is funded by the Frederick P. Rivara Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center Endowment.