Police Stops and the Erosion of Positive Future Orientation among Urban Youth
PurposeThe objective is to examine the ramifications of adolescent personal and vicarious police stops for positive future orientation, among all adolescents and by race/ethnicity and sex subgroups, and to assess how features of police stops—including frequency, intrusiveness, resultant stigma, and resultant traumatic stress response—are associated with positive future orientation. Methods We used data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (N = 3,437), a national sample of at-risk urban-born youth, and a series of ordinary least squares regression models that account for observed nonrandom selection into police stops to examine the relationship between adolescent police stops and positive future orientation. Results Three key findings emerged. First, personal and vicarious police stops, compared to no police stops, are negatively associated with positive future orientation among adolescents. Second, associations are largest among Black and Hispanic girls. Third, any exposure to police stops, regardless of features of the stops (including frequency, intrusiveness, resultant stigma, and resultant traumatic stress response), is negatively associated with positive future orientation. Discussion Given that positive future orientation is linked to mental and physical health throughout the life course, the findings suggest both personal and vicarious police stops among adolescents may increase health inequality in the United States.
Turney, Kristin, Alexander Testa, and Dylan B. Jackson. 2022. “Police Stops and the Erosion of Positive Future Orientation among Urban Youth.” Journal of Adolescent Health 71:180-186.