Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

Leslie Frazier

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Paulette Johnson

Third Advisor's Name

Robert Lickliter

Fourth Advisor's Name

Dionne Stephens


possible selves, social comparisons, and self-regulation in young adults

Date of Defense



In exploring the role of social influences in the development of the self, the current study evaluated whether young adults use social comparisons in developing their hoped-for possible selves and, if so, whether their developmental process correlates with self-regulatory processes and positive mental health outcomes. The current study found the following: (1) the domains of hoped-for possible selves among young adults were related to the gender of the social comparison target, (2) the direction of young adults’ social comparison processes (upward or downward) did not significantly influence self-regulatory processes (self-efficacy and outcome expectancy) toward achieving their hoped-for possible selves, (3) strong masculine gender identification related to greater outcome expectancy, while strong feminine gender identification related to both greater self-efficacy and outcome expectancy, and (4) self-efficacy related to less state anxiety, trait anxiety, and depression, while outcome expectancy related only to less trait anxiety. Males and females were found to use traditional gender role identification in forming their hoped-for possible selves.





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