New Research Looks at the Relationship Between Age, Period, and Cohort Effects in Firearm Homicides and Suicides in the US

New Research Looks at the Relationship Between Age, Period, and Cohort Effects in Firearm Homicides and Suicides in the US

By: Alexandra de Leon Date: August 6th, 2020

Firearm homicide and suicide rates have varied over time due to a number of factors.

Researchers at the Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center (HIPRC), UW Medicine and the Department of Epidemiology of the University of Washington School of Public Health have conducted a new study to understand the relationship between age, gender, and temporal trends and firearm homicides and suicides. The study was published July 31, 2020 in Injury Prevention.

Using data on firearm homicide and suicide from 1983-2017, researchers found there are significant differences between firearm homicides and suicides with respect to gender, age, and temporal trends. Across all age groups, rates of firearm homicide increased dramatically in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The peak age for firearm homicide varied, although it was generally between ages 15 and 29 years. Rates of firearm homicide were substantially higher among men than women, regardless of age, period or cohort.

“We found that firearm suicide rates varied significantly by gender,” lead researcher & HIPRC epidemiologist Miriam Haviland said. “In women, firearm suicide rates were highest among older cohorts, but across all cohorts firearm suicide rates decreased or remained relatively constant with age. In comparison older cohorts of men also had higher firearm suicide rates, but the rate of firearm suicide increased with age across all cohorts.”

Researchers in this study are a part of HIPRC’s state-funded Firearm Injury & Policy Research Program. The group’s mission is to reduce the impact of firearm injury and death on people’s lives through interdisciplinary research and collaboration with institutional, community, and governmental partners.

For more on this study: click here.

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