Pathways4Youth is proud to announce that the latest paper by Dr. Stoddard and Mrs. Pierce has been accepted and published! Promoting Positive Future Expectations During Adolescence: The Role of Assets is an intriguing new paper that discusses the roles community involvement and neighborhood collective efficacy have on the future expectations of adolescents. Through the survey of 7th grade students, information was gathered about their community engagement and neighborhood environment, then compared these feelings to their sense of hope, purpose and future expectations.
A group of seventh grade students at a midwest suburban middle school were given a survey with items related to future expectations and self-concept. Students were asked questions about hope, purpose, future expectations, contribution to community, and neighborhood collective efficacy. Neighborhood collective efficacy is an individual’s perception of the social cohesion and trust in their neighborhood. The researchers found that positive future expectations were associated with youth that are engaged in community activities and in those that report higher neighborhood collective efficacy. When youth help in their community, they may be able to reflect more on what is important to them. Also, hope and purpose were associated with each other, meaning having a purpose in life may motivate one to overcome difficulties to better achieve the life one hopes for. These findings are important because interventions to improve community efficacy and allow youth to become more involved in community work may benefit youth and adolescents. Helping youth figure out their purpose in life and fostering hope may also have positive effects on youth.
This paper is a meaningful addition to the Pathways4Youth literary collection and represents the intuitive and influential research that we are conducting everyday.
Written by: Corinne Hauck and Kathryn Abramoski