How adolescents construct their future: The effect of loneliness on future orientation

Rachel Seginer, Efrat Lilach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined the effect of loneliness, gender, and two dimensions of prospective life domains on adolescent future orientation. Future orientation was studied in four prospective domains: social relations, marriage and family, higher education and work and career. These domains are described in terms of two dimensions: theme (relational vs. instrumental) and distance (near vs. distant future). Data collected from Israeli Jewish adolescents (11th graders) were analysed by repeated measures ANOVAs and ANCOVAs (covariate: depressive experiences) for seven future orientation variables: value, expectance, control (motivational variables), hopes, fears (cognitive representation variables), exploration, commitment (behavioural variables). As predicted, lonely adolescents scored lower than socially embedded adolescents on future orientation variables applied to the relational and near future domains and lonely boys scored lower than lonely girls. However, effects were found only on the three future orientation motivational variables and not on the cognitive representation and behavioural variables. Contrary to prediction controlling for the effect of depressive experiences did not reduce the effect of loneliness on the future orientation variables, but reduced the tendency of adolescents to score higher on all future orientation variables in the instrumental than in the relational prospective domains. The contribution of these findings to the understanding of adolescent loneliness and future orientation was discussed and directions for future research were suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-643
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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