Bonus Question

Child and Teen Firearm Mortality in the U.S. and Peer CountriesFirearms recently became the number one cause of death for children in the United States, surpassing motor vehicle deaths and those caused by other injuries. This brief examines how gun violence an…KFF

Answer one or more of these questions:

1) How does the US differ from other countries in terms of gun violence? What implications does this have for child development in the US?

2) What are some developmental factors (mentioned in this article or drawn from other valid sources) as to why children may be frequently dying from firearms?

3) Given the statistic that 6 out of 9 recent mass shootings were committed by men in the ’emerging adulthood” stage, what are some developmental and/or gender reasons this may be happening?


  1. The US has much higher rates of gun violence compared to other peer countries. According to the article, the firearm mortality rate for children and adolescents in the US is 82 times higher than the combined rate for other high-income countries. This high prevalence of gun violence can have significant implications for child development in the US, as exposure to violence can lead to long-term negative outcomes, such as mental health issues, academic difficulties, and social problems.
  2. There are several developmental factors that may contribute to children frequently dying from firearms. These include:
  • Access to firearms: Children who live in households with guns are at a higher risk of firearm-related injuries and deaths. Research has shown that guns in the home increase the risk of homicide by 40-170% and the risk of suicide by 90-460%.
  • Lack of parental supervision: Children who are not properly supervised may access firearms and accidentally shoot themselves or others. In some cases, parents may even leave guns loaded and within reach of children.
  • Impulsivity: Children are often impulsive and may not understand the potential consequences of their actions. This can lead to accidental shootings or other gun-related incidents.
  • Exposure to violence: Children who are exposed to violence, whether in their home or in their community, are more likely to engage in violent behavior themselves. This can lead to an increased risk of firearm-related injuries and deaths.
  1. There are several developmental and gender reasons why men in the emerging adulthood stage may be committing mass shootings. These include:
  • Identity development: Emerging adulthood is a time when individuals are still developing their sense of identity and may be more susceptible to external influences, such as extremist ideologies or peer pressure.
  • Mental health issues: Emerging adulthood is also a time when mental health issues may first emerge or become more severe. Individuals who are experiencing depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues may be more likely to engage in violent behavior.
  • Access to firearms: As young adults, men in the emerging adulthood stage may have greater access to firearms, either through legal means or through the black market.
  • Toxic masculinity: Some experts argue that mass shootings are a result of toxic masculinity, which can encourage men to use violence as a way to assert their dominance or express their frustration. This can be especially pronounced during the emerging adulthood stage, when young men are still developing their sense of masculinity and may feel pressure to conform to traditional gender roles.

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