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.