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Future Outlook Tied to Risk of Weapon Violence in Male Teens

Future Outlook Tied to Risk of Weapon Violence in Male Teens

Tue, Jul 3, 2018

TUESDAY, July 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Positive future orientation is associated with reduced odds of weapon-related violence perpetration among teenage males from low-resource neighborhoods, according to a research letter published online July 2 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Alison J. Culyba, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and colleagues examined the correlation between future orientation -- defined as hopes and plans for the future -- and violence perpetration among male youths in low-resource neighborhoods. A total of 866 males aged 13 to 19 years were enrolled. Participants completed baseline in-person surveys relating to future orientation (seven questions encompassing aspirations, goal-setting, and contributions), violence perpetration, school enrollment, and demographics. Three validated Youth Risk Behavior Survey items were used to assess perpetration of violence in the past nine months.

The researchers observed a correlation for having a positive future orientation with significantly reduced odds of threatening someone with a weapon and injuring someone with a weapon (adjusted odds ratios, 0.66 and 0.6, respectively). There were correlations for placing high importance on reaching personal goals and believing in one's ability to make a positive difference in the world with significantly reduced odds of threatening someone with a weapon (adjusted odds ratios, 0.56 and 0.69, respectively) and injuring someone with a weapon (adjusted odds ratios, 0.45 and 0.59, respectively).

"Interventions that promote positive future orientation may be important in reducing risk of violence perpetration," the authors write.

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