Person, place, and perception in paths to the future: adolescent self-concept, sense of community, and possible selves in a rural context




Kapil, Margaret Ellen

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A sample of 96 rural adolescents recruited from four rural communities in the Kootenay Boundary region of British Columbia completed a cross-sectional survey tapping self concept, possible selves, sense of community, and the connections among these constructs. The consideration of both present and future selves were viewed through a contextual lens where rural characteristics were considered. There were mixed sentiments regarding living in the rural communities. Youth were typically able to find support and generally liking living in their communities although many indicated ambivalence about staying in their community after leaving high school. An important connection was found between a high estimation of capability for obtaining a future hoped-for self and a high rating of self-concept. This result suggests important implications for rural and possible selves research, and implications for rural youth including building self-esteem though fostering perceptions of capability, increasing community engagement, and strengthening community connections.



Adolescent psychology, Teenagers