Prospective effects of possible selves on alcohol consumption in adolescents

Chia Kuei Lee, Colleen Corte, Karen F. Stein, Chang G. Park, Lorna Finnegan, Linda L. Mccreary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-81
Number of pages11
JournalResearch in Nursing and Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015



  • Adolescence
  • Alcohol use
  • Cognition
  • Identity development
  • Possible selves
  • Self-concept

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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