Guide Family Where Are We Going: Past - Present - Future Outlook

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Since the war and the displacement of most villagers in Northern Uganda, most families fend for themselves, leaving the supervision and guidance of offspring to the individual nuclear families. Clan members exercise their monitoring roles less routinely, but might still use their authority in cases of adolescent behavior that severely disrupts family or communal life. Written consent of at least one primary guardian and the participating adolescent were collected. No monetary incentives were given, but all participants received a snack during the interview.

After completion of the study, all children who had participated in the study in and their guardians were invited to take part in a community training that involved fostering improved parenting skills female guardians and dealing with domestic violence and suicidal ideation adolescents , independent of their participation in the data collection at the second or third wave. Each item was then assessed for their adequacy in the northern Ugandan rural setting in a discussion between two clinical experts with extensive experience in transcultural research in a Ugandan setting and a group of local counselors with extensive experience with youths and young adults in the communities.

This led to the deletion of five items. The 5-point-Likert scale was chosen instead of the original Chilean 7-point Likert Scale, as the local research team argued that participants in the rural areas tend to struggle with more detailed scales. Means, standard deviations, ranges, and frequencies were calculated on the basis of the unweighted data from the whole sample to describe the sample characteristics.

In addition, factor loadings should be well above 0. Since we did not expect an acceptable model fit of the original Chilean factor structure for the Ugandan data, the FESA factor structure of the Ugandan sample was further examined with principal component analysis PCA. PCA was chosen as an adequate Kline, ; Field, and the most commonly used Guadagnoli and Velicer, ; Watson and Thompson, statistical method to reduce a larger number of items to fewer underlying dimensions.

In a few cases, PCA has even been found superior to exploratory factor analysis in eliminating redundancy in the development of questionnaire scales Krishnan, As intercorrelations between the single main components were expected and were consistent with the theoretical model, oblique rotation direct oblimin was chosen.

After a first examination of the results of the PCA with all items, the component structure was discussed between transcultural experts on theoretical grounds. After the discussion, items that did not match the Ugandan context were excluded and the PCA was run again. Most of them attended the 5th grade of primary school For a more detailed description of class attendance in refer to Table 1. One 0. Of the students, 91 Family income was low throughout the sample: students In addition, All participants named Christianity as their religion.

Combined, the five extracted components were able to explain For a detailed presentation of the pattern matrix and the factor loadings of all 22 items after rotation refer to Table 4. Many families still live off their own field crops or the exchange of self-grown crops and manual labor for other daily necessities within their communities. Also, most rural communities do not center their religious life around organized mass or religious services, as churches and religious meetings are hard to reach for the rural population. Many families organize their religious life in private prayer and worship sessions that were not sufficiently covered by item No item loaded on more than one component.

For a detailed look at the pattern matrix after rotation, refer to Table 5. Main component labels were derived by consensus between the authors and in accordance with the factor labels of the original FESA Chilean sample, McWhirter and McWhirter, It was thus labeled family and children. The last component accounted for 7.

As expected, all main components were intercorrelated. The correlations between the three components ranged from 0. The item-version resulted in a scale ranging from 0 to The distribution of the item values revealed that means were relatively high between 2. For a detailed presentation of the item and subscale value distribution, please refer to Table 7. Based on their answers and a focus group discussion with local counselors and rural and urban teachers we developed a Ugandan version of the instrument.

These low factor loadings are in accordance with the focus group feedback on the fit of these items in the Ugandan context and will be discussed further below. The final factorial structure of the Ugandan FESA includes the three factors family and children , work and education , and general future optimism and consists of 19 items. The scale had good internal consistency.

The intercorrelations between the different subscales made theoretical sense, as both the family and children and work and education subscales correlated higher with the general future optimism scale than with each other. The main difference between the Ugandan FESA and the original version of the questionnaire is the much simpler factorial structure of the measure.

The participants in the focus groups argued that religious life in rural Ugandan communities is not as organized as the items imply. The focus group also stated that young adults are not presented with a choice of whether they want to lead a religiously influenced life or not, as the Christian faith is seen as a necessity in order to be accepted in most rural communities.

An additional three items were deleted on the grounds of the results of the focus group discussion, as they were not deemed appropriate for the rural Ugandan setting. Most of these rural farmer families have neither the need nor the time to participate in leisurely physical exercise. Although the concept of community as an extended family has been in the process of changing since the civil war, helping community members is so deeply rooted in tradition that it is not seen as a choice.

This might be due to the fact that the concept of sufficient wealth in rural northern Uganda is not directly tied to monetary salaries. These changes in the overall item pool led to the three-factor solution, which explains sufficient variance. The domain dealing solely with religion and community as a separate entity of future expectations did not prove to be relevant for the Ugandan adolescents.

As described above, leading a life that adheres to religious and community-based values is traditionally expected of adolescents and young adults in rural Ugandan communities. It thus seems out of question for adolescents to rate the importance of these traditional values for their personal future expectations. The factor work and education presented a similar structure in the Ugandan sample compared to the original study. Interestingly, the items that loaded onto the work and education factor in the original FESA are the ones that are less concretely worded as specific career goals and are rather results of having a successful life in which one has obtained monetary and emotional stability.

It seems as if the adolescents of the Ugandan sample had a narrower definition of career and education-related topics when discussing their future expectations. This may be due to the fact that some of these aspects of the future are attainable for adolescents growing up in rural Uganda without succeeding in a classic career based on further education. For example, if the agricultural work provides their future family with enough to feed themselves and exchange some field fruits for other needed goods, some of these goals are met without extensive education or a formal career.

These items seem to describe more of a generally positive attitude toward the future in the Ugandan sample than to describe specific aspects of attained career or health goals as it was the case in the original FESA study.

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The overall feeling of an unforeseeable future, which is closely connected to fatalism Peou and Zinn, , might lead to a less differentiated view on future expectations. One other sample characteristic worth noting is the fact that the overall future expectations of the adolescents were rather optimistic. Given the harsh living circumstances the participants grew up in Saile et al. However, a study by Nurmi was able to show that expecting the outbreak of nuclear war did not necessarily decrease the future expectations of Finnish adolescents.

Adolescents who actually experienced a heightened threat of war showed more interest in their personal future than their less worried peers. Ugandan adolescents currently experience the influx of weapons and refugees from the conflicts of the neighboring countries South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This could possibly influence their approach to evaluate and plan their own future. It might well be that these tales of a better future influence the positive outlook on the future in the current sample. As the reconstruction of society after violent conflict is ideally linked to an increase in economic wealth for its people Bozzoli et al.

On the single item level, it is noticeable that the items of the subscale work and education have the lowest means and largest standard deviations. This makes sense, as the next 2 years will decide whether their families will allow them to attend secondary school, which will open up career opportunities beyond rural farming life. Adolescents seem to be very sure that the family-related aspects of their future will be taken care of.

The item pool of the original FESA was mainly applicable to this new setting and seems to work in the changed cultural and socioeconomic setting of a post-conflict society in East-Africa. According to Nurmi on influences on future expectations, parents and teachers are the most important role models for adolescents to acquire basic skills to develop future expectations.

This struggle for daily survival leaves little to no capacity to focus on or develop any long-term plans for their offspring. This is in accordance with the conclusion of a review by Nurmi that adolescents from a lower socioeconomic background seem to have less detailed future plans than their wealthier peers. Jones and Brown argue that living under harsh social conditions with diminished contingencies between present behavior and future outcomes forces people to develop the ability to repeatedly and consistently manage the immediate situation to achieve a desirable future.

This cognitive temporal bias toward a present orientation has also been linked to poverty and difficult access to formal education Zimbardo and Boyd, , which is the case for the Ugandan adolescents in this sample. Leccardi was able to show in a sample of Italian youth that in times of economic change, having broad guidelines instead of concrete future plans was the most feasible option to plan the future. This ambivalence might make it harder for adolescents to form very specific future expectations but support a broader, optimistic view.

The strengths of the present study lie in the large sample size of adolescents from a hard-to-reach rural post-conflict society as well as in the detailed input of three local focus groups. The evaluation sample is a good representation of adolescents living in the qualms and changes of an emerging post-conflict society, as the Ugandan teenagers interviewed in the study are currently struggling with the typical uncertainties and stressors of the post-war years, including economic hardship, an interrupted education history as well as major changes in family structure and societal rules.

Due to the intensive exchange with the three focus groups before, during, and after data collection, we were able to gain important knowledge about the influence of the cultural specificities and societal changes that mark the post-conflict years in Uganda. However, certain limitations must be noted. The sample consisted of adolescents who all share a very low socioeconomic status. As socioeconomic status has been linked to the extent of how detailed adolescents formulate their future expectations Nurmi, , the current Ugandan FESA structure should also be tested in a more affluent sample.

Owing to their financial struggles, nearly all of the interviewed adolescents were still in primary school. It might well be that their future expectations will change once they enter permanently into work life and start having their own families. Entering these domains of adulthood might confront them with unrealistic expectations and might dampen their overall very optimistic outlook on their future or might lead to a more detailed look into the different domains of future expectations.

As the sample focused on adolescents living in rural communities it should also be tested whether the resulting factorial structure of the Ugandan FESA can be applied to adolescents growing up in urban settings. This study was able to show again that the item pool of the original FESA from the Chilean sample McWhirter and McWhirter, is applicable, to a large extent, in a post-conflict society. After several modifications, the resulting Ugandan FESA provides an instrument with acceptable psychometric qualities to measure future expectations in Ugandan youth who have experienced civil war and a changing post-conflict society.

The Ugandan FESA is especially useful for future research on the interaction between post-war stressors, psychopathology and future expectations in an emerging society that faces numerous changes and challenges. It would also be interesting to compare adolescents future expectations and their delay gratification in an experimental setting, as delay gratification has been linked to impulse control, excessive consumerism and risk behavior in young adults Roberts and Martinez, ; Wulfert et al.

This is especially relevant in Uganda with its very young population, growing middle-class and changing economic market. Future studies might also consider including other regions of Uganda or focus on specific subgroups defined by age, gender, or socioeconomic status to compare their mean sum-score as well as the factorial structure.

A longitudinal study accompanying adolescents during the different stages of reaching adulthood could also give further insights into the stability of their future expectations.

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Written consent for participation and publication of at least one primary guardian and the participating adolescent were collected. CC and FN obtained the funding for the research. The study built upon a longitudinal survey on the developmental aspects of violence and mental health in this population designed by CC. LS was the main contributor of the specific design of this study, including data collection and analysis. LS drafted the manuscript. All authors, read and approved the final version of the manuscript.

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

This research was supported by the NGO vivo international Uganda. We would like to acknowledge the vivo staff in Gulu for carrying out the interviews and their commitment to work with our participants, especially Olympia Abalo, Grace Akello, Stephen Abola, and Lawang Renny Okeny. Moreover, we would like to thank the director of the NGO vivo international Uganda.

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We would like to thank the reviewers for their constructive feedback. The funder had no involvement in the conduct of the research. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List Front Psychol v. Front Psychol. Published online Jul 3. Laura B. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Saupe, ed. Share Flipboard Email. Kenneth Beare has taught English and English as a second language teacher since I think I'll go to that party next week. The economy will get better soon.

Yes, I will marry you. What will he, she, you, we, they do? She's going to attend university and study to become a doctor. We're going to make the presentation next week. I am going to attend the meeting. He, She is going to attend the meeting. You, We, They are going to attend the meeting. Growing numbers of Americans believe it is time to bring our outmoded social policies into line with our changing workforce. Polls show widespread support for instituting paid family leave and expanding children's access to high-quality child care and preschool. By the end of , four states and about a dozen cities had legislated paid family leave, with another 18 states considering such measures.

The authors of two recent books hope to increase support for such family-friendly measures. Both argue that the modern workforce needs a new infrastructure of caregiving, comparable to the transportation and energy infrastructure the government built in the first two-thirds of the 20th century, which was crucial to the expansion of postwar productivity and the improvement in living standards during that era.

Normally, I dread reading books that have been spun out of a popular article. All too often, the authors feel compelled to take what started as an interesting, provocative observation and pad it with repetitive anecdotes and selective statistics designed to prove that they have produced a new paradigm or identified a revolutionary shift in social, political, or family relations. Slaughter offers a refreshing contrast. She has produced a book that adds heft and nuance to the original article, which had several weaknesses, starting with her description of how she became disillusioned with the "feminist credo" that you can "have it all.

The phrase first gained traction as the title of a book by Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown about how women could use feminine wiles to get "love, success, sex, and money. Slaughter's original article treated work-family conflict as predominantly a woman's issue, stemming in part from "a maternal imperative," a description that offended many men as well as women. Additionally, it focused almost exclusively on issues facing elite women in demanding high-powered careers, ignoring the problems of overwork facing men in similar careers and devoting only a paragraph to the issues facing middle- and low-wage workers.

But over the next few years Slaughter engaged thoughtfully with her critics as well as her admirers, deepening her analysis and delving further into the existing body of work-family research. She has produced a book with a persuasive and at times passionate argument about why we need to rethink work and elevate the value of care. She now urges us to stop seeing this as a women's issue, citing evidence that men are equally distressed by policies that make it difficult to combine work and family obligations, and noting that if women want to be treated as valued equals in the competitive realm, they must learn to treat men as valued equals in the caring realm.

She suggests that women and men should plan ahead so that both can alternate intervals of intensive work with periods where they step back but do not drop out to focus more on other aspects of life. Much of the advice in the book "train your boss," for example is more relevant to professional women than to low-wage workers, who seldom have much leeway in planning their career or negotiating their working conditions. But Unfinished Business also devotes considerable attention to the issues facing low-wage and middle-income workers, both those who need to purchase caregiving and those who provide it for pay.

She argues that the "devaluing of and discrimination against caregiving … provides the common thread linking the experiences of women at the top and at the bottom," and she clearly lays out the differences in the dynamics and consequences of that discrimination. While Slaughter critiques the way "the competitive mystique" deforms work and family life, Heather Boushey goes after the "job-killer" mystique-the notion that any interference with a firm's short-term profits acts as a drag on the economy.

Finding Time builds upon the groundbreaking work she did with Joan Williams in in a report for the Center for American Progress "The Three Faces of Work-Family Conflict: The Poor, the Professionals, and the Missing Middle" analyzing the distinctive issues facing different kinds of workers and suggesting a mix of policies that could help them all.

Boushey aims to convince policymakers, business leaders, and the public that instituting fair, flexible, and universally available caregiving support systems for all three of these groups is not just the humane thing to do but also the efficient thing to do.

Having support systems in place for caregiving needs increases the productivity, reliability, and loyalty of workers and decreases costly labor turnover, saving businesses money. Such programs also enhance the ability of families to purchase the goods and services that businesses create. Equity and efficiency can work together, Boushey insists.

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Programs that improve the coordination of work and family life should be seen not as welfare, but rather as something very close to a progressive version of workfare. Boushey and Slaughter both present evidence that workplaces with flexible, accommodating schedules are more productive than those that emphasize long hours and rigid schedules.

They each provide examples of successful innovations such as telecommuting and "results-only" work environments. Boushey pays particular attention to the economic case for family leave, showing that despite the initial fears of business leaders, the implementation of paid leave in California benefited businesses as well as working families.

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Both books note that countries with extensive work-life policies have higher social mobility and are often more competitive than the United States. Both authors also critique the current caregiving arrangements of the unregulated private market, whereby middle-income families can often afford child care and elder care only by turning to low-paid caregivers-a dynamic that puts the caregivers' own families at risk, impairs the quality and consistency of the care they can offer, and ultimately costs the public dearly.

The high staff turnover and low staff-to-child ratios that prevail in so many of America's unregulated child-care settings do little to prepare children for future success.

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