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Author: Michael Anderson, Frank Bechhofer, Lynn Jamieson, David McCrone, Youjun Li and Robert Stewart

Title: Confidence amid Uncertainty: ambitions and plans in a sample of young adults

Year: 2000

ISBN: 1-900522-95-0

This research is based on a study of 204 persons from the Kirkcaldy labour market area, divided into two equal groups, aged 20-24 and 25-29 to explore systematically changes taking place earlier and later in this decade of the life-course. This project developed out of work on the Social Change and Economic Life Initiative (SCELI) over a decade ago (1986-87) in which we began to explore individual and household plans and strategies, and a follow-up study a decade later tracing as many of the original respondents as possible. Using both survey material and intensive interviews, this research provides an insight into what young people themselves have to say about various forms of considering their future. In general terms, the paper shows that young adults are largely optimistic, exercising forethought about and planning for the future, often over a long period. The 20-29 group feels more in control of their lives compared with their older peers, is on average no more insecure and no more pessimistic about their immediate future, while somewhat economically more pressed. The paper further argues that although lack of resources, past failures and family commitments all inhibit planning, they do not necessarily prevent more general forms of consideration of the future

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