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J Behav Med ; 44(6): 867-873, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1321781


The objective of this study was to assess parents' firearm storage behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic and characterize reasons why some parents made their firearms more accessible during this time. In June-July 2020, the study team conducted the FACTS National Survey-a cross-sectional, web-based, survey of 2,924 parents and their teens (ages14-18) regarding firearm-related practices. We weighted descriptive analyses to be nationally representative of parents of teens in the United States. We utilized qualitative thematic analysis to identify parents' reasons for making firearms more accessible. Five percent of firearm-owning parents of teens reported making their firearms more accessible during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Reasons why parents increased the ease of firearm access included: (1) Increased civil unrest and riots; (2) Threat of home invasion and/or crime victimization; (3) Fear of panic and the unknown; and (4) Easier access and greater protection, threat unspecified. Some parents-largely motivated by fear-chose to store firearms in a more accessible manner during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to protect their family against possible external threats. Understanding the fear that motivates parents' decisions regarding storage practices might aid interventions focused on harm reduction and safer storage.

COVID-19 , Firearms , Adolescent , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Pandemics , Parents , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
J Behav Med ; 44(6): 874-882, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1303337


To describe and identify the correlates of firearm purchasing at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic among US families with teenagers. In June-July 2020, we conducted a national survey of 2924 parents and their teenagers in the US. We report results from this survey to describe firearm purchasing behaviors following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and investigate correlates of purchasing. Between the beginning of the pandemic and July 2020, 10% of households with teenagers purchased a firearm, and 3% became first-time firearm-owning households. Among firearm-owning households, firearm storage was associated with purchasing such that households that stored at least one firearm loaded and unlocked were more likely to purchase a firearm (OR: 2.02[1.07-3.79]) compared to households that stored all firearms unloaded and/or locked. Firearms purchased at the beginning of the pandemic were more likely to go to homes where at least one firearm was stored loaded and unlocked, which may contribute to increased risk for teen firearm injury and death.

COVID-19 , Firearms , Wounds, Gunshot , Adolescent , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Wounds, Gunshot/epidemiology
Transl Behav Med ; 11(7): 1299-1309, 2021 07 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1203733


Cannabis-using youth are a large epidemiologic subgroup whose age and smoking-related risks underscore the importance of examining the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in this population. Within a clinical trial (n = 36 received an intervention prior to data collection reported herein), we surveyed cannabis-using emerging adults (ages 18-25) about perceived COVID-19 impacts. Participants (n = 141) reporting weekly cannabis use (M = 18.6 use days in the past 30) were enrolled and completed online surveys as part of either their baseline or 3 month assessment. COVID-19-related measures included symptoms, substance use, mood, etc. Participants were 57% female (mean age = 21, standard deviation = 2.2), with 21% Hispanic/Latinx, 70% White, 20% Black/African American, and 10% of other races. Most participants (86%) reported quarantine/self-isolation (M = 59 days). Several had COVID-19 symptoms (16%), but none reported testing COVID-19 positive. Many respondents felt their cannabis use (35%-50%, across consumption methods) and negative emotions (e.g., loneliness, stress, and depression; 69.5%, 69.5%, and 61.8%, respectively) increased. They reported decreased in-person socialization (90.8%) and job losses (23.4%). Reports of increased cannabis smoking were associated with increased negative emotions. On an open-response item, employment/finances and social isolation were frequently named negative impacts (33.3% and 29.4%, respectively). Although cannabis-using emerging adults' reports of increases in cannabis use, coupled with mental health symptoms and social isolation, are concerning, the full impact of the pandemic on their health and well-being remains unknown. Future studies examining the relationship between social isolation, mental health, and cannabis use among young people are needed.

COVID-19 , Cannabis , Adolescent , Adult , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult