Distress level and daily functioning problems attributed to firearm victimization: sociodemographic-specific responses

Rose M.C. Kagawa, Veronica A. Pear, Kara E. Rudolph, Katherine M. Keyes, Magdalena Cerdá, Garen J. Wintemute

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to estimate the effect of firearm involvement during violent victimization on the level of distress experienced and daily functioning within sociodemographic subgroups. Methods: We used cross-sectional data from the National Crime Victimization Survey (n = 5698) and Targeted Maximum Likelihood Estimation. Sociodemographic subgroups were defined by age, race, sex, and socioeconomic position. Outcomes included experiencing the victimization as severely distressing and problems in the workplace or at school, or with peers or family. Results: Among people victimized with a firearm, nearly 40% experienced the victimization as severely distressing and 28% reported daily functioning problems as a result of the victimization, compared with 25% and 27% of those victimized without a firearm. In most of the subgroups examined, a greater proportion of people described the event as severely distressing when a firearm was involved in the victimization, ranging up to 19 percentage points higher among women and among black respondents (95% CI for women = 10%–28%; for blacks = 6%–31%). Conclusions: Our findings suggest an almost universal negative response to firearm involvement during a violent victimization as compared with violent victimizations involving other or no weapons. These findings highlight the need for efforts by medical and mental health practitioners to address the potential sequelae of experiencing severe distress during a firearm victimization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAnnals of Epidemiology
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020


  • Crime
  • Firearms
  • Gun violence
  • Mental health
  • Violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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