The following is a summary of “Examining Longitudinal Associations Between Future Orientation and Multiple Forms of Youth Violence Perpetration,” published in the July 2023 issue of the Adolescent Health by Khetarpal et al.
Future orientation, characterized as the anticipation and ambition for forthcoming events, shows potential as a comprehensive safeguard against adolescent aggression. This study evaluated how future exposure longitudinally predicted various forms of violence perpetration among minoritized male youth in neighborhoods characterized by concentrated disadvantage. Data were collected from a clinical trial on preventing sexual violence (SV) involving 817 predominantly African-American male adolescents aged 13 to 19 living in communities with a high prevalence of community violence.
Latent class analysis was employed to establish baseline future orientation profiles of the participants. Mixed effects models were utilized to investigate the relationship between future orientation classes and various types of violence perpetration, including weapon violence, bullying, sexual harassment, non-partner sexual violence, and intimate partner sexual violence, at a follow-up period of 9 months. The latent class analysis resulted in the identification of four distinct classes, wherein approximately 80% of the youth were categorized into types characterized by moderately high and high future orientation. Significant overall associations were observed between latent class and weapon violence, bullying, sexual harassment, non-partner sexual violence, and sexual violence (all P < .01) were identified.
While patterns of association varied among different types of violence, it was consistently observed that youth in the low-moderate future orientation class exhibited the highest rates of violence perpetration. In comparison to individuals in the low future orientation category, individuals in the low-moderate category showed an increased likelihood of engaging in bullying (odds ratio 3.51, 95% CI: 1.56–7.91) and perpetrating sexual harassment (odds ratio 3.44, 95% CI: 1.49–7.94). The longitudinal association between future orientation and youth violence may not be linear. Increased focus on intricate patterns of future exposure may provide valuable insights for interventions that utilize this protective factor to mitigate youth violence.