Demographics of having a gun in the home in Columbia, South Carolina as reported by women primary care patients

James Michael Daniel Dunne, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Objectives. To determine demographic correlates of having one or more guns in the household of women primary care patients in the southern USA. Methods. All participants in this cross-sectional study were women aged 18-65 who were insured by either Medicaid or a managed care provider and had ever had an intimate sexual relationship with a male partner that lasted at least three months. Prevalence rate ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated using stratified analyses for having a gun in the home and the following demographic factors: age, race, educational attainment, marital status, employment status, and alcohol/drug use. Results. Twenty six percent of households had at least one gun and 6.5% had 3 or more guns. The following demographic characteristics of women were associated with having a gun in the household: age (>40) (prevalence rate ratio [PRR] = 1.4; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.1–1.8); White race (PRR = 1.89; 95% CI = 1.61–2.27); currently being employed (PRR = 1.72; 95% CI = 1.22–2.44); higher education; and being insured by an HMO (PRR = 1.92; 95% CI = 1.47–2.50). Neither the partner's unemployment nor his substance use was associated with having a gun. While White households were more likely to have a gun, the same correlates of gun ownership held for both White and African-American households; being married or living as married and higher socio-economic status (i.e. HMO insurance and being employed) were strongly correlated with gun in the household. The following were correlated with having multiple guns in the household: White race (p < 0.0001); increased age (p = 0.005); being currently married or living as married (p < 0.0001); and HMO insured status (p < 0.0001). Among those households with at least one gun, White race and married or currently living as married were associated with having 2 or more guns relative to one gun in the household. Conclusions. Currently living with a man and being of higher socio-economic status were strong correlates of household gun ownership among both Whites and African-Americans. Substance use was not associated with household gun ownership.

Subject Area

Public health|Minority & ethnic groups|Sociology|Demographics

Recommended Citation

Dunne, James Michael Daniel, "Demographics of having a gun in the home in Columbia, South Carolina as reported by women primary care patients" (2008). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1453703.