SOLUTION: SOC 2302 University of Houston Sociology Mass Killing Question

2/28/2021
Majority of teens worry about school shootings, and so do most parents | Pew Research Center
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NEWS IN THE NUMBERS
APRI L 1 8 , 2 0 1 8
BY NIKKI GRAF
(Comstock via Getty)

A majority of U.S. teens fear a shooting could happen at their school, and most parents share their concern


1/8
2/28/2021
Majority of teens worry about school shootings, and so do most parents | Pew Research Center
In the aftermath of the deadly shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, a majority of
American teens say they are very or somewhat worried about the possibility of a shooting
happening at their school – and most parents of teens share that concern, according to
new Pew Research Center surveys of teens ages 13 to 17 and parents with children in the
same age range.
Meanwhile, when it comes to what can be done to prevent this kind of violence, far more
teens view proposals focused on mental illness, assault-style weapon bans and the use of
metal detectors in schools as potentially effective than say the same about allowing
teachers and school officials to carry guns in schools.
The surveys of teens and parents were conducted in March and April 2018, following the
Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School – one of the deadliest mass
school shootings in U.S. history. Seventeen people were killed in the attack and more than
a dozen others were injured. The surveys also come as the nation prepares to mark the
19th anniversary of the shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado.
Overall, 57% of teens say they are worried about the possibility of a shooting happening at
their school, with one-in-four saying they are very worried. About three-in-ten (29%) say
they are not too worried about this, and just 13% say they are not at all worried.
Nonwhite teens express a higher level of concern than their white peers. Roughly twothirds (64%) of nonwhite teens, including 73% of Hispanics, say they are at least

A majority of U.S. teens fear a shooting could happen at their school, and most parents share their concern


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2/28/2021
Majority of teens worry about school shootings, and so do most parents | Pew Research Center
somewhat worried about this, compared with 51% of white teens.
School shooting fears differ by gender as well: 64% of girls say they are very or somewhat
worried about a shooting happening at their school, compared with 51% of boys.
Parents of teenagers express similar levels of concern as teens themselves, with 63%
saying they are at least somewhat worried about the possibility of a shooting happening at
their child’s school. And there are similar patterns when it comes to race and gender, with
nonwhite parents and mothers expressing more concern. Lower-income parents are
particularly worried – in fact, 82% of parents with annual household incomes under
$30,000 say they are at least somewhat worried that a shooting could happen at their
teen’s school, compared with 64% of those with incomes between $30,000 and $74,999
and 53% of those with incomes of $75,000 or more.
Some policies seen as more effective than others

A majority of U.S. teens fear a shooting could happen at their school, and most parents share their concern


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2/28/2021
Majority of teens worry about school shootings, and so do most parents | Pew Research Center
Against the backdrop of organized school walkouts and marches calling for new legislation
to address gun violence, teens see more value in some proposed measures than others.
Asked to assess how effective various measures would be at preventing school shootings,
86% of teens say that preventing people with mental illnesses from purchasing guns and
that improving mental health screening and treatment would be effective, including
majorities who say each of these proposals would be very effective. Roughly eight-in-ten
teens (79%) say that having metal detectors in schools would be effective and 66% say the
same about banning assault-style weapons.
By contrast, a much smaller share of teens (39%) say that allowing teachers to carry guns
in schools would be very or somewhat effective at preventing school shootings; 35% of
teens say this would be not at all effective.

A majority of U.S. teens fear a shooting could happen at their school, and most parents share their concern


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2/28/2021
Majority of teens worry about school shootings, and so do most parents | Pew Research Center
Black teens are far less likely than white and Hispanic teens to say allowing teachers to
carry guns in schools would be at least somewhat effective: 23% of black teens say this,
compared with 44% of white teens and 39% of Hispanic teens.
Views on the effectiveness of banning assault-style weapons also differ by race and
ethnicity. About eight-in-ten black teens (80%) and Hispanic teens (79%) say this would
be at least somewhat effective; a smaller share of white teens say the same (59%). And
while teens across racial and ethnic groups are about equally likely to see metal detectors
as effective, black teens are far more likely than their white and Hispanic counterparts to
say this would be very effective (59% vs. 39% and 41%, respectively).
Partisan divide among adults
Teens’ views on proposals to prevent school shootings mirror those of the general public,
for the most part.

A majority of U.S. teens fear a shooting could happen at their school, and most parents share their concern


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2/28/2021
Majority of teens worry about school shootings, and so do most parents | Pew Research Center
Among all adults, opinions on arming teachers and banning assault-style weapons diverge
sharply along party lines, according to a separate Pew Research Center survey also
conducted in March and April. (The survey of teens did not ask respondents for their
partisan affiliations.)
About eight-in-ten Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (78%) say that
allowing teachers to carry guns in schools would be very or somewhat effective at
preventing school shootings, compared with just 24% of Democrats and Democraticleaning independents. Democrats, on the other hand, are far more likely than Republicans
to say that banning assault-style weapons would be at least somewhat effective (81% vs.
35%).
But there are some points of partisan agreement – substantial majorities of both
Democrats and Republicans say that proposals directed at mental illness and having metal
detectors in schools have the potential to be at least somewhat effective in preventing
school shootings.

A majority of U.S. teens fear a shooting could happen at their school, and most parents share their concern


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2/28/2021
Majority of teens worry about school shootings, and so do most parents | Pew Research Center
Correction: In a previous version of this post, the charts and topline gave an incorrect
end date for the period during which parents and teens were surveyed. The survey ended
April 10.
Note: See full topline results, teens and parents methodology and general public
methodology here (PDF).
Topics Gun Policy, Teens and Youth, Education, Violence and Society
Nikki Graf is a former research associate focusing on social and demographic trends
at Pew Research Center.
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A majority of U.S. teens fear a shooting could happen at their school, and most parents share their concern


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What Is Public Opinion Polling
and Why Is It Important?
Methodological Design
Sampling
Statistical Validity
What Is Public Opinion Polling and Why Is It Important?
What’s a public opinion poll?
A scientific, nonbiased public opinion poll is a type of
survey or inquiry designed to measure the public’s
views regarding a particular topic or series of topics.
Trained interviewers ask questions of people chosen
at random from the population being measured.
Responses are given, and interpretations are made
based on the results. It is important in a random
sample that everyone in the population being studied
has an equal chance of participating. Otherwise, the
results could be biased and, therefore, not
representative of the population. Representative
samples are chosen in order to make generalizations
about a particular population being studied.
Why are opinion polls important?
Helping regular people be heard
Polls tell us what proportion of a population has a
specific viewpoint. They do not explain why
respondents believe as they do or how to change their
minds. This is the work of social scientists and
scholars. Polls are simply a measurement tool that
tells us how a population thinks and feels about any
given topic.
This can be useful in helping different cultures
understand one another because it gives the people a
chance to speak for themselves instead of letting only
vocal media stars speak on behalf of all. Opinion
polling gives people who do not usually have access to
the media an opportunity to be heard.
How are the surveys conducted?
Two of the most common ways in which public opinion
polls are conducted are telephone and face-to-face
interviews. Other methods include mail, online, and
self-administered surveys.
the questionnaire and records the interviewee’s
responses. At times the interviewer may hand a card
to the respondent for him/her to select a response(s).
Scientific face-to-face surveys are normally conducted
using geographic-area probability sampling. Some
refer to this as “block sampling.” This is done by
dividing a given population into blocks of roughly equal
population density. Each block is further divided into
blocks until a single household is chosen at random,
and then a single respondent is randomly chosen from
the household.
How does one read opinion polls?
Percentages in an opinion poll reflect the proportion of
a given population that has a particular response. If
the results of a scientific poll claiming a 3-point margin
of error say that 30% of Americans like ice cream, this
means that if we asked all Americans this question, we
would expect between 27% and 33% to say they like
ice cream.
How are scientific polls different from other polls?
When a radio or TV station asks its listeners to call in
to vote on a particular issue, the results of this activity
are not scientific because the sample is not
representative. The sample reflects only the people
who happen to be watching or listening to the show
and are motivated to call in. This cannot be
generalized to represent the whole population because
the respondents were not randomly selected, and
therefore, they are not representative.
How are face-to-face samples selected?
Such surveys, also known as “in-person” interviews,
are conducted with the interviewer and the interviewee
next to each other. The interviewer reads material from
2
Copyright © 2007 The Gallup Organization, Princeton, NJ. All rights reserved.
For more information, contact Eric Nielsen, Senior
Director of Media Strategies, The Gallup Organization,
at eric_nielsen@gallup.com. Mr. Nielsen will handle
your inquiries for more detailed information or any
questions regarding the methods used in the Gallup
World Poll.

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