Life satisfaction and positive perceptions of the future among youth at-risk participating in Civic-National Service in Israel

Drorit Levy, Rami Benbenishty, Tehila Refaeli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


In Israel, the 'Civic-National Volunteer Service for Youth At-risk' was developed to help support their transition to adulthood, while making a contribution to society. The present paper examines life satisfaction and perceptions of the future among youth at-risk completing their volunteer service. Further, the paper explores how socio-demographic background, personal strengths (sense of mastery and self-esteem), and their experiences during service predict these outcomes.The participants were selected from a convenience sample, which included most of the participants in a cohort of national service for a project designed specifically for youth at-risk in a nonprofit organization that operates national service projects. The sample included 161 at-risk youth (93.2% females) who responded to structured questionnaires. Stepwise hierarchical regressions were conducted to examine predictor of each of the dependent variables. The findings revealed that experiences during volunteer service contributed significantly to prediction of their life satisfaction. Positive perceptions of the future, on the other hand, were predicted mainly by their personal assets of having a high school matriculation diploma and high self-esteem. In the discussion section, the paper addresses the theoretical and practical implications of these findings, with a strong emphasis on expanding this important support for normative transition to adulthood of at-risk youth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2012-2017
Number of pages6
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the funding provided by the Gandyr Foundation , and thank the program youth and staff for their collaboration and insightful comments.


  • Life satisfaction
  • National Service
  • Perceptions of the future
  • Transition to adulthood
  • Youth at-risk


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