“Will My Wish Come True?”: Wishes and Aspirations of Early Adolescents in Urban Baroda, India
Adolescence is a period during which planning and crystallizing of thoughts about future occurs. Guided by the Positive Youth Development perspective, the study aimed to understand the emerging patterns of wishes and aspirations of early adolescents at two age levels, 10 years and 14 years. Aspirations related to self, education, occupation, family and world were explored. A survey questionnaire was administered to 400 adolescent students, representing the upper and lower socioeconomic strata in urban Baroda, India. The results of the study showed that the adolescents placed higher importance on wishes and aspirations related to occupation, education, personal characteristics and contribution to the family and the world. Fourteen year old adolescents had more descriptive wishes compared to 10 year old adolescents. Girls’ wishes focused more upon themes like prosocial behavior, contribution to family, welfare orientation for the world. Boys wished more for material possessions and sports. The impact of the social context was reflected in the types of occupations aspired for, with most of the adolescents from the lower socioeconomic class preferring to become doctor, teacher, nurse and military officer; and adolescents’ from the upper socioeconomic class preferring to become orator, IFS officer, roboticist and astronaut. The study concludes that wishes are interlinked with each other, and are age, gender and social class specific. The basic nature of wishes is of “I-self”- the individual self is of great importance in adolescents’ representations. The adolescents’ wishes are realistic and optimistic in nature, and fulfillment of the same would certainly lead to positive youth development.
Keywords: Early Adolescence, Wishes, Aspirations
Research fellow, UGC-CAS Program,