Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 47, Issue 10, pp 2129–2142 | Cite as

The Development of Future Orientation is Associated with Faster Decline in Hopelessness during Adolescence

  • Naoise Mac Giollabhui
  • Johanna Nielsen
  • Sam Seidman
  • Thomas M. Olino
  • Lyn Y. Abramson
  • Lauren B. AlloyEmail author
Empirical Research


Hopelessness is implicated in multiple psychological disorders. Little is known, however, about the trajectory of hopelessness during adolescence or how emergent future orientation may influence its trajectory. Parallel process latent growth curve modelling tested whether (i) trajectories of future orientation and hopelessness and (ii) within-individual change in future orientation and hopelessness were related. The study was comprised of 472 adolescents [52% female, 47% Caucasian, 47% received free lunch] recruited at ages 12–13 who completed measures of future orientation and hopelessness at five annual assessments. The results indicate that a general decline in hopelessness across adolescence occurs quicker for those experiencing faster development of future orientation, when controlling for age, sex, low socio-economic status in addition to stressful life events in childhood and adolescence. Stressful childhood life events were associated with worse future orientation at baseline and negative life events experienced during adolescence were associated with both an increase in the trajectory of hopelessness as well as a decrease in the trajectory of future orientation. This study provides compelling evidence that the development of future orientation during adolescence is associated with a faster decline in hopelessness.


Future orientation Hopelessness Cognitive Development Adolescence Childhood stress Negative life events 


Authors’ Contributions

N.M.G. conceived of the study question, assisted in the analysis data and wrote a considerable proportion of the manuscript. J.N. and T.M.O. played a lead role in advising and executing statistical analyses as well as considerable input into the preparation and revision of the manuscript. S.S. was involved in data preparation and cleaning, literature review and in writing of the manuscript. L.B.A. and L.Y.A. were awarded the R01 grant (MH079369) which was the basis of data analysis; both authors provided considerable input into the formulation of the research question and revision of the manuscript.


This research was supported by National Institute of Mental Health Grants MH079369 and MH101168 to Lauren B. Alloy.

Data Sharing Declaration

This manuscript’s data will not be deposited.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

Data collection procedures were approved by Temple University’s Institutional Review Board.

Informed consent

Written, informed consent was obtained from research staff.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary Information
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Supplementary Table 1
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Supplementary Table 2
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Supplementary Table 3
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Supplementary Table 4
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Supplementary Table 5
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Supplementary Table 6
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Supplementary Table 7


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Naoise Mac Giollabhui
    • 1
  • Johanna Nielsen
    • 1
  • Sam Seidman
    • 1
  • Thomas M. Olino
    • 1
  • Lyn Y. Abramson
    • 2
  • Lauren B. Alloy
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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