Siegel and colleagues including predoctoral fellow Anita Knopov, the lead author, compared data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2004, when the body last surveyed US gun owners, to corresponding information on suicides by 10–19 year olds from 2005 through 2015. The was used to find data on such variables as education, , and suicidal planning and ideation.
The study reports "For each 10 percentage-point increase in household gun ownership, the youth suicide rate increased by 26.9 percent". The ten states with highest youth suicide rates had household gun ownership rates above 50%; the ten with the lowest youth suicide rates had household gun ownership around 20%. The data were, the study says, more closely correlated than youth suicide attempts were to actual suicides.
The study notes theindicates 82% of youth suicides involving a gun used one from the victim's own household in 2016. Most variables appeared uncorrelated, with only suicide attempts and proportion of youth showing correlation. The team wrote that guns "are 2.6 times more lethal than any other means of suicide; thus, access to firearms might be expected to contribute to a higher incidence of suicide."
The highest rate noted by the team was in Alaska, with fifteen youth suicides per 100,000 individuals. New Jersey had the lowest rate, which was three per 100,000 people. There were states that did not match the overall trend: Alabama and Mississippi had low youth suicide rates of around 4.5 per 100,000 people but high household gun ownership rates of over 50%. Each state has a large proportion of residents; they were found statistically less likely to commit suicide and to own guns.
Siegel agreed to answer some questions for Wikinews's correspondent.
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