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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 221860 Find in a Library
Title: Unrealistic Fatalism in U.S. Youth Ages 14 to 22: Prevalence and Characteristics
Journal: Journal of Adolescent Health  Volume:42  Issue:2  Dated:February 2008  Pages:154-160
Author(s): Patrick E. Jamieson Ph.D.; Dan Romer Ph.D.
Date Published: February 2008
Page Count: 7
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study estimates the proportion of U.S. youth who exhibit "unrealistic fatalism" about their futures (not expecting to live past age 30) and tests predictions about risk factors for this fatalism.
Abstract: Approximately 1 out of every 15 youth interviewed (6.7 percent) responded that they agreed with the statement that they would not live much past the age of 30. Compared to youth who did not agree with this statement, the "fatalists" were significantly more likely to be older male Hispanics and to have completed the interview in Spanish. As predicted, a recent experience that engendered hopelessness was a strong predictor of fatalism. In addition, non-White youth who had experienced hopelessness reported increasing rates of fatalism as they aged. Fatalistic youth engaged in greater suicidal planning, had more accepting attitudes toward suicide, were less attached to religion, and were more impulsive than other youth. Approximately 43 percent of fatalists forecast a likely death by suicide; whereas, the rest of the youth anticipated death by an outside source. Fatalists were also more likely to drop out of school. Since youth who have this fatalistic view of the future are at high risk for dropping out of school and committing suicide, this mental state should be identified at an early age for referral to programs that specialize in treating youth with hopelessness and suicidal tendencies. These findings were derived from 4 waves of a nationally representative telephone survey conducted from 2002 to 2005 with 4,201 youth ages 14 to 22. Survey data were analyzed with logistic regression in order to identify correlates and predictors of unrealistic fatalism. 2 tables, 1 figure, and 37 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency factors
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Attitude measurement; Juvenile mental health services; Juvenile suicide; Suicide causes; Suicide prevention
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