American Journal of Criminal Justice

, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 146–165 | Cite as

The Kids Aren’t Alright: School Attachment, Depressive Symptoms, and Gun Carrying at School

  • Stephen J. WattsEmail author
  • Karli Province
  • Kayla Toohy


Social science has frequently examined the relationships between school environment and delinquency, mental health and delinquency, and school environment and mental health. However, little to no research to date has examined the interrelationship between these variables simultaneously, especially at it relates specifically to delinquent acts committed at school. The current study uses data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) to look at the interrelationship between these variables. What is found in this data is that the relationship between negative mental health states and delinquency at school, specifically measured as depressive symptoms and gun carrying at school, respectively, is possibly a spurious one, wherein both of these variables are partly shaped by school attachment, which accounts for their correlation. Implications for theory and policy are discussed.


School violence Guns Depression School attachment Add health 


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Copyright information

© Southern Criminal Justice Association 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen J. Watts
    • 1
    Email author
  • Karli Province
    • 1
  • Kayla Toohy
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Criminology and Criminal JusticeUniversity of MemphisMemphisUSA

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