Positive future expectations can facilitate optimal development and contribute to healthier outcomes for youth. Researchers suggest that internal resources and community-level factors may influence adolescent future expectations, yet little is known about the processes through which these benefits are conferred. The present study examined the relationship between contribution to community, neighborhood collective efficacy, purpose, hope and future expectations, and tested a mediation model that linked contribution to community and collective efficacy with future expectations through purpose and hope in a sample of 7th grade youth (N = 196; Mage = 12.39; 60 % female; 40 % African American; 71 % economically disadvantaged). Greater collective efficacy and contribution to community predicted higher levels of hope and purpose. Higher levels of hope and purpose predicted more positive future expectations. Contribution to community and neighborhood collective efficacy indirectly predicted future expectations via hope. Implications of the findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.
Keywords: Community contribution; Hope; Neighborhood collective efficacy; Purpose.