This longitudinal study examined the personal strivings of young adults coping with mental illness, parents' hopes for their children, and attributes that adults and parents give to their strivings and hopes. Findings are based on separate interviews with a total of 60 young adults diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder and their parents from 30 families. Adults and their parents generally expressed similar types of strivings and hopes and were persistent in strivings/hopes reported over a 1-year period. Adults were generally more optimistic than parents, anticipating more success in achieving their strivings with less difficulty and effort. Family agreement about strivings/hopes was significantly related to attribute ratings. Findings are discussed in the context of life span development and models of recovery.