The unifying objective of the project is to construct a longitudinal study (as far as we know the first longitudinal study on this subject) on transition of adolescents to young adulthood in Romania. Our intention is to identify (by the analysis of demographic, neighborhood and income factors, parent, peer, and teacher relations) those social contexts (educational, family, services etc.) that are beneficial for adolescents’ successful transition to young adulthood. We intend to look at the ways these social determinants interact with the agency of individuals and the life events that mark their lives (falling in love, changing school, succeeding graduation, starting work, volunteering, becoming pregnant etc.).
Accordingly, we aim:
(1) to evaluate the explanatory value of the two main theoretical frameworks: the interactional-ecological theoretical framework, and the life course perspective, by balancing the impact of life course events with the impact of risk and resilience factors and design an integrative model.
(2) to study the explanatory value of social-contextual in relation with individual-psychological factors: as a result we hope to identify individual factors related to adolescents’ agency that are sufficiently powerful to overcome disadvantageous contexts, but also to point to social contexts and life events that restrain the development of full potential of individuals.
(3) to establish the markers of coping and development that differentiate between at risk and successful adolescents; to include in the evaluation adolescents at risk because of poverty, rural origin, Roma ethnicity and family situation who do and who do not benefit of support programs organized by social services; to compare contextual factors, developmental markers as well as outcomes of these two categories.
(4) to explore mental health factors that build up agencies capable to compete with adversities. We shall investigate the role of self concept, optimism and positive illusions on successful entry in adulthood and educational attainment
(5) to identify the contexts, events and demographics that act as risk factors and evaluate their effect (Roma ethnicity and/or poor community, being placed in child welfare, early sexual relations). Different patterns will be identified for adolescents with different social background. Due to the age specificity, we shall devote special attention to relationships, intimacy and sexuality.