Bystander intervention to prevent firearm injury: A qualitative study of 4‐H shooting sports participants


This qualitative study examines how youth and adult members of 4-H Shooting Sports clubs perceive firearm injury risk and risk reduction, and the applicability of a bystander intervention (BI) risk reduction framework in this community. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 11 youth and 13 adult members of 4-H Shooting Sports clubs across nine US states from March to December of 2021 until thematic saturation was reached. Deductive and inductive thematic qualitative analyses were performed. Six overarching themes emerged: (1) The tendency to view firearm injury as predominantly unintentional in nature; (2) Acknowledgment of a wide array of risks for firearm injury; (3) Perceived barriers to bystander action to prevent firearm injury including knowledge, confidence, and consequences of action; (4) Facilitators of bystander action including a sense of civic responsibility; (5) Direct and indirect strategies to address potential risks for firearm injury; and (6) Belief that BI skills training would be useful for 4-H Shooting Sports. Findings lay the groundwork for applying BI skills training as an approach to firearm injury prevention in 4-H Shooting Sports, similar to how BI has been applied to other types of injury (i.e., sexual assault). 4-H Shooting Sports club members' sense of civic responsibility is a key facilitator. Prevention efforts should attend to the broad array of ways in which firearm injury occurs, including suicide, mass shootings, homicide, and intimate partner violence, as well as unintentional injury.


copyright Wiley 2023


adolescent, bystander intervention, firearm injury, firearms, gun safety, shooting sports, violence prevention


Trinka, T., Oesterle, D. W., Silverman, A. C., Vriniotis, M. G., Orchowski, L. M., Beidas, R. S., Betz, M. E., Hudson, C., Kesner, T., & Ranney, M. L. (2023). Bystander intervention to prevent firearm injury: A qualitative study of 4‐H shooting sports participants. Journal of Community Psychology, 1–15.
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