Parents' Beliefs About Children and Gun Safety

Howard, Patricia Kunz
September 2005
Pediatric Nursing;Sep/Oct2005, Vol. 31 Issue 5, p374
Academic Journal
This study sought to determine parents' beliefs about children and gun safety. A survey was sent to 230 parents of elementary age children addressing their beliefs about firearm storage, firearm safety training for children, and whether or not their child would handle a gun. Findings are based on the 82 returned surveys. Parents believed safe firearm storage was important to protect children. Only 22% of parents reported having a firearm in their home. However, of those reporting a firearm in the home, 85% did not practice safe gun storage despite reporting they believed it was important. These findings are supported by other studies that have found that parents have unrealistic perceptions about how their child will respond when a firearm is encountered. The only predictor of parents' incorrect perceptions about firearm safety training was the item "children will be safe if taught." This parental misperception provides further evidence that parents have unrealistic attitudes about children and guns.


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