Abstract: Self-Compassion and Future Expectations of Care Leavers: The Mediating Role of Life Skills, Life Satisfaction, Self-Rated Health (SRH), and Self-Efficacy (Society for Social Work and Research 26th Annual Conference - Social Work Science for Racial, Social, and Political Justice)

100P Self-Compassion and Future Expectations of Care Leavers: The Mediating Role of Life Skills, Life Satisfaction, Self-Rated Health (SRH), and Self-Efficacy

Thursday, January 13, 2022
Marquis BR Salon 6, ML 2 (Marriott Marquis Washington, DC)
* noted as presenting author
Shani Manor, BSW, Social worker, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel
Talia Meital Schwartz Tayri, PhD, Faculty Member, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel
Yafit Sulimani- Aidan, PhD, A professor at Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
Background: Positive perception of the future is an essential protective factor linked to resiliency among youth who experience adversity. However, literature concerning the factors that contribute to positive future expectations among youth in care is scarce. The present study aims to address this research gap by examining the contribution of positive psychology predictors to future expectations: self-compassion and life satisfaction. The innovative aspect of the estimated model is the examination of predictors that were previously associated with care leavers' future expectations (life skills, self-efficacy, life satisfaction), with predictors that were only limitedly examined in studies on care youth future expectations (self-compassion, physical health). This study is the first attempt to incorporate these factors within one explanatory theoretical model to predict future perception among care leavers.

Methods: The representative sample included 171 care leavers (ages 18-25; 68% were women) from the Israeli national transitional housing programs. The instruments tapped the adolescents' socio-demographic background, self-compassion, life skills, life satisfaction, self-rated health (SRH), self-efficacy, and future expectations. A three-step analytic plan was employed. First, the associations between the six main study variables and socio-demographic characteristics were examined. Second, we conducted a structural equation modeling analysis (SEM) to examine the model's fit to the data. Finally, to examine whether the indirect paths found were significant, we employed accelerated bias-corrected bootstrap analyses.

Results: All scales were from 1 to 5, except for life-satisfaction which was rated on a scale of 1 to 4. The participants reported high level of self-rated health (M = 4.20 SD = .81), medium-high levels of positive future expectations (M = 3.6 SD = .35), life skills (M = 3.45 SD = .40) and life-satisfaction (M = 2.6 SD = .64), and medium levels of self-compassion (M = 3.2 SD = .78) and self-efficacy (M = 3.22 SD = .78). SEM provided support for the model: χ2 = 5.131, df = 6, p = .527, RMSEA = .01, NFI = .98, CFI = .1, TLI = .1. Bootstrap analyses of specific mediation path revealed that: self-compassion had significant indirect effect on future expectations via self-efficacy (.051, 95% CI: .032, .073) and life-satisfaction (.065, 95% CI: 0.28, .102), and life skills had significant indirect effect on future expectations via SRH and life-satisfaction (.003, 95% CI: .001, .006).

Conclusions and implications: This study uncovers the multidimensional nature of the processes and factors in care youth trajectories, and reveals that these processes' outcomes are both emotional and instrumental. It also revealed the vital role of self- self-compassion as a factor of life skills, life satisfaction, and self-efficacy, which are considered desired outcomes among youth who experience adversity at emerging adulthood. In terms of implications for practice, care facilities should strengthen youth emotional regulation and life skills by incorporating positive psychology and mindfulness interventions in youth treatment.