Adolescent Future Orientation: The Role of Identity Discovery in Self-Defining Activities and Context in Two Rural Samples


This study, using data from two samples of rural adolescents, examined how identity experiences in a self-defining activity and perception of access to opportunities were related to four dimensions ofadolescent future orientation and whether the relationship between identity experiences in a self-defining activity buffered the effects of limited opportunities on future orientation. Adolescents' identity experiences in a self-defining activity emerged as having a significant, positive association with most dimensions of future orientation in both samples and were found to be the strongest predictors of futureorientation in Sample 1. In the more racially diverse Sample 2, perception of limited opportunities was the strongest and most consistent predictor of future orientation. In Sample 1, results also indicated that the strength of the negative relationship between limited opportunity and optimism is attenuated foradolescents reporting high levels of personal expressiveness compared to adolescents with low personal expressiveness. The findings suggest that interventions designed to target adolescents' time use and leisure-related identity experiences may have an impact on adolescent future orientation.


Family Studies

Publication Date


Journal Title

Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research


Taylor & Francis

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Document Type