The longitudinal associations between motivation, self-regulatory capacities, and future-oriented cognition and behavior among serious young offenders [2020]

Objectives: The present study examined how changes in a set of motivational/self-regulatory factors were associated with subsequent change in future-oriented cognition and behavior. Hypotheses: We hypothesized that within-individual changes in aspirations, expectations, emotion regulation, resistance to peer influence, and impulse control would be positively associated with later change in future-oriented cognition and behavior. We also predicted that between-individual effects would be larger in magnitude than within-individual effects. Method: Serious young offenders (N = 1,318; M age = 16.04; 86% male) were followed over a 7-year period from adolescence to young adulthood during the Pathways to Desistance study. The analytical strategy incorporated both fixed and hybrid effects regression models to assess the time-ordered correlates of future-oriented cognition and behavior. Results: Net of controls, within-individual changes in aspirations and expectations about the future, emotion regulation, and impulse control had statistically significant, positive associations with subsequent change in future-oriented cognition and behavior; however, between-person effects were much larger in magnitude than within-individual effects. Conclusions: Motivation and aspects of self-regulation are potentially important targets for correctional treatment and prevention efforts. Future orientation is an intermediate treatment mechanism worthy of further study.

Petrich, Damon M.; Liu, Hexuan; Nedelec, Joseph L.
Law and Human Behavior, 2020
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