How Goal Oriented Are Youth?

A gap often exists between young people’s future goals and their planning skills to “get there.” A survey of 89,000 middle and high school students by Search Institute found that many young people have a positive view of the future, believe they can overcome challenges, and have a sense of purpose. Yet they lack planning and decision-making skills, and they don’t consistently delay gratification for something they really want—all these factors are part of a future focus.

SOURCE: Benson, P. L., Scales, P. C., Roehlkepartain, E. C., & Leffert, N. (2011). A fragile foundation: The state of developmental assets among American youth (2nd Ed.). Minneapolis, MN: Search Institute.

Next Steps

  • Take the quiz to reflect on the power of creating and working toward future goals.
  • Talk about hopes, dreams, and goals in your family with your kids and other parenting adults.