Future orientation, or the image individuals have of the future, provides the grounds for setting goals and planning, and therefore is considered an important adolescent developmental task. This chapter introduces future orientation research by describing its evolvement from a thematic approach focusing on the content of future domains to a model consisting of three components, discusses its universal and cross-cultural meanings, and reports a replicated finding that across cultures, adolescents share a common core of future orientation domains consisting of education, career, and marriage and family. Based on findings on effects of the family setting on future orientation and an integration of developmental ecology, developmental niche, and bridging multiple worlds models, the author suggests new directions for research especially pertinent for adolescents undergoing social change.
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