Cultural differences in possible selves during later life

Lisa Donette Waid, Florida International University


This study explored the ways in which culture may influence the future self-representations of older adults. Cultural differences are explained within the theoretical paradigm of individualism vs. collectivism. The sample consisted of 100 older adults, comprised of 50 Spanish-speaking natives and 50 English-speaking natives. Their ages ranged from 60 to over 90 years. Participants were given interviews consisting of demographic information and The Possible Selves Inventory. Results indicate that the possible selves of native English-speakers were more reflective of characteristics of an individualistic culture, and the possible selves of native Spanish-speakers reflect the characteristics of a collectivistic culture. The findings of this study serve to bridge a gap in the literature on the influence culture has on the possible selves older adults envision.

Subject Area

Developmental psychology|Social psychology

Recommended Citation

Waid, Lisa Donette, "Cultural differences in possible selves during later life" (2001). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI1403527.