Physical environment of the home and adolescent injury risk

Academic Article


  • Objectives: The home environment is one of the most significant contextual factors that contributes to young children's unintentional injury risk, but there are very limited data concerning risks present in the homes of adolescents. This study was designed to offer descriptive data on aspects of the home physical environment that might contribute to adolescent injury risk in the United States. Methods: A diverse sample of 42 adolescents ages 14-16 participated. Researchers completed an inspection of the adolescents' home, searching for various safety-related hazards. Results: Homes tended to be safe in some domains (e.g., presence of smoke detectors), but had substantial risk in other domains. For example, over 90% of homes were without functioning carbon monoxide detectors; 29% had unlocked firearms present; 21% had exposed electrical cords; and 31% had alcohol present and unlocked. Conclusions: Although residential environment risks are viewed to be most concerning for very young children, over 30% of fatal adolescent injuries occur in the home. Results suggest there are substantial risks to adolescent safety in the home environment. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Schwebel DC; Janice Gilliland M; Moore JG
  • Start Page

  • 47
  • End Page

  • 51
  • Volume

  • 17
  • Issue

  • 1