Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Ruby Charak

Second Advisor

Dr. Natasha McNeely

Third Advisor

Dr. Jason Popan


Despite growing interest in gun attitudes and gun ownership among United States citizens, the current body of literature is limited and tends to focus on white non-Hispanic individuals. The present study examined the effect of interpersonal trauma-related PTSD symptoms on gun attitudes and protective gun ownership. The associations between experiencing PTSD symptoms, gun attitudes, and protective gun ownership were examined in a sample of 176 young Hispanic adults (n = 127 women, n = 49 men) with exposure to interpersonal trauma. Specifically, the mediating role of positive attitudes towards guns in the associations between the four clusters of DSM-5 PTSD symptoms and protective gun ownership were examined in five simple mediations conducted among women. Results revealed that the indirect of PTSS related to interpersonal trauma and gun attitudes did not lead to an increased likelihood of protective gun ownership among Hispanic women. Further research should examine the differences in gun ownership by gun type, as well as examine how gender identity and culture may affect emotional and cognitive reactions to trauma among Hispanics. Future studies should assess participant suicidality as trauma exposure, PTSD symptoms, and gun ownership all individually increase the risk of death by suicide, and together could substantially increase present risk.


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