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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Kentucky Researchers Study Relationship between Guns and Gender, Relationship Attitudes

Dr. Heather Bush, Associate Professor, Department of Biostatistics, and Dr. Ann Coker,  Professor, Department of Epidemiology, University of Kentucky College of Public Health are authors on the new article “Do Guns in the Home Predict Gender and Relationship Attitudes? An Exploratory Study.” Published in the Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma, the study explores the potential relationship of guns in students’ homes with attitudes indicative of tolerance of violence, negative attitudes toward women and their roles, and attitudes suggestive of myths regarding sexual assault.

bush coker

[Photo: Dr. Heather Bush (left) and Dr. Ann Coker]

Seniors in Kentucky high schools whose families possessed guns (n = 1,749) produced higher scores on scales measuring these variables as well as on scales of relationship dependency and religious involvement than seniors whose families did not own guns (n = 912). Students whose families owned more than 10 guns tended to score highest on these measures compared with students whose families owned no guns or a few guns. Because of lower effect sizes, these significant associations require further investigation.

The study was completed by an interdisciplinary group of researchers from the University of Kentucky.