Yale University

Future expectations among adolescents: a latent class analysis.

TitleFuture expectations among adolescents: a latent class analysis.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsSipsma, Heather L., Jeannette R. Ickovics, Haiqun Lin, and Trace S. Kershaw
JournalAmerican journal of community psychology
Date Published2012 Sep
KeywordsAdolescent, Adolescent Behavior, Alcohol Drinking, Anticipation, Psychological, Ethnic Groups, Family, Female, Humans, Juvenile Delinquency, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Peer Group, Qualitative Research, Risk-Taking, Sexual Behavior, Socioeconomic Factors, Substance-Related Disorders
AbstractFuture expectations have been important predictors of adolescent development and behavior. Its measurement, however, has largely focused on single dimensions and misses potentially important components. This analysis investigates whether an empirically-driven, multidimensional approach to conceptualizing future expectations can substantively contribute to our understanding of adolescent risk behavior. We use data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 to derive subpopulations of adolescents based on their future expectations with latent class analysis. Multinomial regression then determines which covariates from Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory are associated with class membership. After modeling these covariates, we examine whether future expectations is associated with delinquency, substance use, and sexual experience. Our analysis suggests the emergence of four distinct classes labeled the Student Expectations, Student/Drinking Expectations, Victim Expectations, and Drinking/Arrest Expectations classes according to their indicator profiles. These classes differ with respect to covariates associated with membership; furthermore, they are all statistically and differentially associated with at least one adolescent risk behavior. This analysis demonstrates the additional benefit derived from using this multidimensional approach for studying future expectations. Further research is needed to investigate its stability and role in predicting adolescent risk behavior over time.
Alternate JournalAm J Community Psychol

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