This application requests funding to expand the Northwestern Juvenile Project (NJP)a comprehensive large-scale prospective longitudinal investigation of juvenile detaineesto study how involvement with firearms during adolescence predicts perpetration and victimization of firearm violence in adulthood. We are studying 1829 youth (1172 males and 657 females), 10 to 18 years of age at baseline, who were initially arrested and detained between 1995 and 1998 in Cook County (Chicago), Illinois. Since the baseline interview, we have tracked and re-interviewed participants up to 13 times, during the 16 years after detention. Participants were interviewed whether they were back in their communities or incarcerated.
To date, the NJP has focused on the development and persistence of psychiatric and substance use disorders,1-10 patterns of service utilization,6,7 risk factors (e.g., child maltreatment8 and low academic achievement11), protective factors (e.g., social support and service utilization 10,11), and related outcomes. We have not studied firearm involvement and its association with subsequent firearm perpetration and injury and mortality (hereafter referred to as victimization). However, by leveraging data already collected and adding new components, the NJP provides an unprecedented opportunity to predict the consequences of firearm involvement in adolescence in a particularly high-risk group: delinquent youth after detention. We propose to examine how exposure to firearms during adolescence predicts the perpetration and victimization of firearm violence in young adulthood, up to a median age of 32 years.