Research explores connection between sleep and handgun carrying | UTSA Today | UTSA | The University of Texas at San Antonio

Thursday, February 13, 2020

FEBRUARY 13, 2020 — Could the amount of sleep teenagers get each night determine if they would carry a gun? A new study by researchers from UTSA and Florida International University has found that not getting enough sleep increases the likelihood of teens carrying a handgun.

Using a national survey of more than 42,000 middle school and high school students in Florida, Dylan Jackson and Alexander Testa, assistant professors in UTSA’s College for Health, Community and Policy, collaborated with Florida International University researchers Ryan Charles Meldrum and Kristen Zgoba to study whether sleep duration is associated with adolescent handgun carrying behaviors.


“This lack of sleep presents serious consequences for their health, psychological well-being and willingness to engage in risky behaviors.”



“Research shows that a large portion of adolescents do not get enough sleep and this lack of sleep presents serious consequences for their health, psychological well-being and willingness to engage in risky behaviors,” said Jackson.

In addition, sleep deprivation has been linked to a variety of risk-taking behaviors, such as drinking and driving and involvement in delinquency. The researchers found out that getting less than four hours of sleep a night leads to a 40% increase in the likelihood of teens carrying a handgun in general and an 85% increase in the odds of taking a handgun to school.


Explore UTSA’s new College for Health, Community and Policy.


“The findings of our study suggest that a lack of sleep may impair decision making and increase the propensity of youths to engage in the risky behavior of carrying a handgun,” said Testa. “Given that gun violence, especially among youth, is a significant public health issue, the results of our findings suggest that efforts to improve the sleep of adolescents can provide substantial benefits for safety and overall well-being.”

The findings were published in Sleep Health: Journal of the National Sleep Foundation.


Connect with UTSA online at Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Events


Spotlight

Spotlight

College of Engineering welcomes key new faculty

UTSA’s Mission

The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property – for Texas, the nation and the world.

UTSA’s Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA’s Core Values

We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

Related Links