Methods: The study sample included 198 adolescents 16-19 years of age (M = 17.68; SD = 0.63) from 11 (out of 14) special public schools in Israel serve students identified by educational authorities as at-risk educationally and developmentally. The instruments tapped the young adult's FO, mentoring relationships (e.g., longevity, duration), life skills, and individual and school characteristics (e.g., gender, ethnicity, and mother’s education, number of former schools).
Results: Results showed that mothers' education and mentor support were positively associated with both life skills and FO (r = 0.49, 0.39, p < 0.001, respectively). Fit indices of the theoretical model indicated that the model yielded a good fit to the data: χ2(60, N = 198) = 84.23, p = .021, TLI = .978, CFI = 0.983, SRMR = .031, RMSEA = .045 (90% CI = .018- .067), and that predictors explained 37% of the variance in resilience. Structural equation modelling indicated an indirect association between youths’ FO and mentor support, mediated by their life skills. Specifically, mentor support predicted higher levels of life skills (β = 0.55, p < .001). In turn, higher life skills positively contributed to FO (β = 0.51, p < .001), fully mediating its relationship with mentor support (β = 0.28, p < .001).
Conclusions and Implications: Findings emphasize the role of personal and relational relationships in shaping youths' perceptions of their future. One important implication is that settings for at-risk youth should integrate programs concerning the youths' perception of their future and preparation towards their future both practically and mentally.