Influences on life aspirations among adolescents in a low-income community in Cape Town, South Africa
MetadataShow full item record
The aim of this study was to determine the influences on adolescents’ aspirations from a low-income community in Cape Town. A sequential mixed method exploratory design was used following two distinct phases. The qualitative phase comprised focus group interviews with 118 grade 12 learners attending a school in a low-income community (age range: 16–19 years) and focused on identifying factors influencing life aspirations. The quantitative phase with 191 adolescents (males = 54.45 %, females = 45.55 %); age range: 14–18 years) from the same community aimed to ascertain the influences of personal attributes on self-aspirations. Participants completed the Expectations/Aspirations measure, the New General Self-Efficacy Scale, the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support. Qualitative data were thematically analysed. Quantitative data were analysed using multiple regression. The findings revealed that self-efficacy, self-esteem and social support were the most critical factors influencing adolescents’ aspirations. Self-efficacy was a major determinant of life aspirations among the adolescents. Life skills programmes with youth from disadvantaged communities should seek to incorporate training aimed at developing adolescents’ self-efficacy.