Perceived popularity of adolescents who use weapons in violence and adolescents who only carry weapons

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2 Scopus citations


Prior research has found that persistently delinquent youth or more violent youth were less popular than their less delinquent peers [Young, Jacob T. N. 2014. “‘Role Magnets’? An Empirical Investigation of Popularity Trajectories for Life-Course Persistent Individuals During Adolescence.” Journal of Youth and Adolescence 43 (1): 104–115]. However, recent research has also found that weapon carrying is associated with being more popular in adolescence [Dijkstra, Jan Kornelis, Siegwart Lindenberg, René Veenstra, Christian Steglich, Jenny Isaacs, Noel A. Card, and Ernest V. E. Hodges. 2010. “Influence and Selection Processes in Weapon Carrying During Adolescence: The Roles of Status, Aggression, and Vulnerability.” Criminology 48 (1): 187–220]. The present paper examines the perceived popularity of adolescents who carry weapons in comparison to those who both carry and use weapons in acts of violence or threatened violence. Data consist of two waves from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. Analyses use OLS regression with lagged predictors. This paper found no differences in number of friends between weapon carriers and weapon users. However, among both male and female gang members, those who did not use or carry weapons (abstainers) named significantly fewer friends than weapon users. Among females, weapon abstainers both named and were named by significantly more people than weapon users. These differences were not observed for males. Implications of these results and directions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1295-1312
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Youth Studies
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 26 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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