an epidemic of gun violence

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Yale News notes that "Gun violence is often described as an epidemic or a public health concern, due to its alarmingly high levels in certain populations in the United States:"

It most often occurs within socially and economically disadvantaged minority urban communities, where rates of gun violence far exceed the national average. A new Yale study has established a model to predict how "contagious" the epidemic really is.

The study, "Modeling Contagion Through Social Networks to Explain and Predict Gunshot Violence in Chicago, 2006 to 2014," conducted "an epidemiological analysis of a social network of individuals who were arrested during an 8-year period in Chicago, Illinois, with connections between people who were arrested together for the same offense:"

Modeling of the spread of gunshot violence over the network was assessed using a probabilistic contagion model that assumed individuals were subject to risks associated with being arrested together, in addition to demographic factors, such as age, sex, and neighborhood residence.

"Social contagion accounted for 63.1% of the 11 123 gunshot violence episodes," the study continues:

...subjects of gun violence were shot on average 125 days after their infector (the person most responsible for exposing the subject to gunshot violence). Some subjects of gun violence were shot more than once. [...]

Gunshot violence follows an epidemic-like process of social contagion that is transmitted through networks of people by social interactions. [...] Contagion via social ties, then, may be a critical mechanism in explaining why neighborhoods matter when modeling the diffusion of crime and, perhaps more important, why certain individuals become subjects of gun violence while others exposed to the same high-risk environments do not.

"We postulated that a person becomes exposed to gun violence through social interactions with previous subjects of gun violence," write the authors:

Therefore, associating with subjects of gun violence, and specifically co-engaging in risky behaviors with them, may expose individuals to these same behaviors, situations, and people that in turn increase the probability of becoming a subject of gun violence. [...]

By identifying high-risk individuals and transmission pathways that might not be detected by other means, a contagion-based approach could detect strategic points of intervention that would enable measures to proactively reduce the trauma associated with gun violence rather than just react to past incidents.

Specifically, the study observed that "more than 70% of all subjects of gun violence could be located in networks containing less than 5%of the city's population."

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on January 10, 2017 8:31 AM.

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