Anticipating their future: Adolescent values for the future predict adult behaviors

Andrea K. Finlay, Laura Wray-Lake, Michael Warren, Jennifer Maggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Adolescent future values - beliefs about what will matter to them in the future - may shape their adult behavior. Utilizing a national longitudinal British sample, this study examined whether adolescent future values in six domains (i.e., family responsibility, full-time job, personal responsibility, autonomy, civic responsibility, and hedonistic privilege) predicted adult social roles, civic behaviors, and alcohol use. Future values positively predicted behaviors within the same domain; fewer cross-domain associations were evident. Civic responsibility positively predicted adult civic behaviors, but negatively predicted having children. Hedonistic privilege positively predicted adult alcohol use and negatively predicted civic behaviors. Results suggest that attention should be paid to how adolescents are thinking about their futures due to the associated links with long-term social and health behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-367
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 5 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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