Where am I going? What do I want to do with my life? Such questions are typical of—even essential to—adolescence and continue to influence individuals throughout their lifetimes. And although human beings are capable of anticipating future events even as infants, the teen years are the peak period for weighing options and setting long-range goals. Future Orientation: Development and Ecological Perspectives synthesizes a wealth of theory and empirical data to explore future thinking as both a developmental process and an individual one. Starting with its origins in childhood, the book identifies the forces that affect this evolution, from early interactions with parents to personality traits and self-processes. Adolescents' future orientation is analyzed by its influences—a complex network of gender expectations, family and peer relationships, and cultural variables—and is, in turn, linked to developmental outcomes at school, capacity for intimacy, and adjustment in emerging adulthood and in adult life.