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Prospective Effects of Possible Selves on Alcohol Consumption in Adolescents

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journal contribution
posted on 30.10.2015, 00:00 by C. K. Lee, C. Corte, K.F. Stein, C.G. Park, L. Finnegan, L.L. McCreary
Possible selves, cognitions about the self that reflect hopes, fears, and expectations for the future, are reliable predictors of health risk behaviors but have not been explored as predictors of adolescents' alcohol use. In a secondary analysis of data from 137 adolescents, we examined the influence of possible selves assessed in eighth grade on alcohol consumption (yes/no and level of use) in ninth grade. Having a most important feared possible self related to academics in eighth grade predicted alcohol abstinence in ninth grade. Among those who reported alcohol use, having many hoped-for possible selves and a most important hoped-for possible self related to academics in eighth grade predicted lower level of alcohol consumption in ninth grade. Interventions that foster the personal relevance and importance of academics and lead to the development of hoped-for possible selves may reduce adolescents' alcohol consumption.


Funding for this study was provided by the National Institutes of Health, National Institutes of Nursing Research (P20NR002962).


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Post print version of article may differ from published version. DOI: 10.1002/nur.21641.


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