Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Rosalie Corona, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Dr. Chelsea Williams, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Dr. Shelby McDonald, Ph.D.


Youth’s hopes and fears for their future (i.e., hoped-for and feared possible selves) are related to their academic and health behavior outcomes. Much of the literature on possible selves focuses on African-American and European-American youth. In a sample of 132 Latinx youth, the present cross-sectional study utilized widely-used measures (i.e., Possible Selves Questionnaire, Beliefs about Education, Youth Risk Surveillance Survey) to identify the content and characteristics (e.g., strategies, balance) of their possible selves; investigate the relationship between contextual factors (e.g., sex, immigrant status) and possible selves; and, explore whether possible selves predicted youth’s beliefs about education and sexual risk behaviors. The most prevalent hoped-for selves were in the achievement and physical health domains, while the most prevalent feared selves were in the risky behavior and achievement domains. Culturally modifying balance was found to increase overall ratings of balance among youth’s selves. We also found that females reported more educational hoped-for selves and feared health selves than males, and that males reported more occupational feared selves than females. Moreover, youth in high school/GED programs reported more traditionally-coded balanced selves and more achievement and occupational hoped-for and feared possible selves than youth in middle school. Youth born outside of the U.S. (compared to youth born in the U.S.) reported more achievement feared selves and more balanced selves, when using modified coding. Finally, the total number of hoped-for possible selves positively predicted youth’s beliefs about education and traditionally-coded balance negatively predicted beliefs. Possible selves characteristics did not predict youth’s sexual risk behaviors.


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