Research Abstract

Burns, J., Munro, M., Peck, C., Smith, C., Thompson, J., & Dulin, N. (2003, April). Correlates of the future goals of group home adolescents. Poster session presented at the Thirty-Second Annual Western Psychology Conference for Undergraduate Research, Santa Clara, CA.

The focus of the present research was to better understand the relationship between future goals, ego-control (Block, n.d.) and socialization (as measured by the CPI-Socialization Scale; Gough, 1987) in a sample of group home residents. The field of group home adolescents is important to explore because often group homes are neglected in adolescent research. Results from this study of group home adolescents have the potential to be used to help minimize negative life outcomes such as incarceration, poverty and drug abuse. Risk factors for adolescent group home youth include poor impulse control, lack of appropriate socialization skills; an additional focus of this study was future goals.

Participants (13 male and 29 female) ranging in age from 12 to 18, of various ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds, resided in group homes from one of two group home agencies in Southern California. They were asked about their future goals in an interview format, and were administered a variety of questionnaires including Blocks’ ego-control scale and Gough’s California Psychological Inventory/Socialization Scale (CPI-So). Self-reported future goals included the desire to obtain a high school diploma, continue with post-secondary education, and the aspiration to have a job and earn income. Block’s ego-control is the tendency to contain emotional and motivational impulses. We hypothesized a positive correlation between future goals and ego-control and a positive correlation between future goals and socialization.

The results supported the hypotheses, revealing a significant positive correlation between future goals and ego-control (r = .497, p<.05) and a significant positive correlation between future goals and CPI-So (r = .382, p<.05). The results can be used to discover ways to involve adolescents in activities that promote their desire to overcome adversity and possess future goals. Future goals can encourage independence and positive life outcomes.