The role of adolescents' hopeful futures in predicting positive and negative developmental trajectories: Findings from the 4-H study of positive youth development

Kristina L. Schmid, Erin Phelps, Megan K. Kiely, Christopher M. Napolitano, Michelle J. Boyd, Richard M. Lerner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Hope for one's future and intentional self-regulation skills may be important in the development of positive and problematic outcomes across adolescence. Using data from 1273 participants from Grades 7 to 9 of the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development (PYD), we assessed the role of a hopeful future in predicting developmental outcomes, measured by trajectories of PYD, contribution (e.g., thinking about and acting on social justice behaviors), risk behaviors, and depressive symptoms. A measure of intentional self-regulation, which involves selecting goals (S), optimizing resources to achieve goals (O), and compensating when riginal goals are blocked (C), was also used to predict outcomes. Higher levels of both hopeful future and selection, optimization, and compensation (SOC) significantly predicted membership in the most favorable trajectories, controlling for sex and socioeconomic status (SES). Hopeful future was a stronger predictor than SOC for each of the outcomes assessed. Implications for future research about individual-context relational processes involved in PYD are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-56
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Positive Psychology
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Developmental trajectories
  • Hope
  • Hopeful future
  • Intentional self-regulation
  • Positive youth development
  • Youth development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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