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Washington State University

Youth Firearm Injury Prevention

Logo with mountain and words.

The overall project is to understand the culture and patterns of handgun carrying among rural adolescents. Long-term, this work will inform firearm injury prevention and safety promotion efforts. This is led by Dr. Ali Rowhani-Rahbar from University of Washington and was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $1,432,559 funded by CDC/HHS (R01CE003299).

WSU is leading one part of this effort by collecting data from rural Washington State youth in what’s called the Youth Experiences in Rural Washington: Research on Firearm Safety project. This project is a mixed methods study collecting qualitative (focus group or interview) and quantitative (survey) data from 93 rural youth across Washington State. We used a community-based participatory research process, engaging WSU Extension 4-H Youth Development as community partners in each step from the grant proposal through dissemination of findings.

WSU Extension faculty and staff partners include Dr. Ashley Hall, Dr. Gary Varrella, Toni Gwin, and Linda McLean. We appreciate the support of the WSU  4-H Youth Development program.

Project Updates

Model depicting mixed methods research design.

This update describes our study design. Download here:

Image describing study participants.

This update describes our youth participants. Download here:

Image describing considerations for recruitment.

This update describes considerations for recruiting rural adolescents in firearms research. Download here:


January 2024: Dr. Weybright and colleagues have published a manuscript titled Strategies for recruiting adolescents in rural areas in firearm injury research in Injury Prevention. Find article here: A related research brief is available in the project updates listed above.

Research brief on recruitment considerations.

November 2023:  Dr. Weybright and colleagues from WSU Extension and University of Washington gave a presentation titled Handgun experiences and behaviors among rural adolescents: A convergent mixed methods study at the 2023 National Research Conference for the Prevention of Firearm-related Harms.

Presentation title slide.

April 2023: Dr. Weybright presented at the National Public Health Week symposium and networking reception in Spokane. This was hosted by the Washington State Public Health Association and WSU Spokane.

February 2023: Gavin Mina and Rittick Nandy, both undergraduate students at Washington State University, co-presented a poster titled Handgun Carrying Behaviors Among rural Adolescents: Implications for Prevention at the 2023 Prevention Science Graduate Student Organization poster session. Gavin and Rittick both graduated in May, 2023. 


Gavin Mina (left) and Rittick Nandy (right) presenting their poster.

November 2022: Dr. Weybright and colleagues from Extension (Hernandez Hall, Varrella) as well as University of Washington (Rowhani-Rahbar) presented a poster on rural adolescents definition of firearm-related terms at the inaugural 2022 National Research Conference on Firearm Injury Prevention in Washington, DC.

Poster on conceptualization of common firearm-related terms.


Publications from the broader project are listed below.