Continuity and change in parenting possible selves: A longitudinal follow-up

Milene Z. Morfei, Karen Hooker, Barbara H. Fiese, Alana M. Cordeiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The concept of possible selves was used to investigate the impact of parenting on adult self-development. Possible selves are one's hopes and fears for the self in the future and are hypothesized to motivate one's current behavior (Markus & Nurius, 1986). Continuity in parenting possible selves was assessed in a longitudinal follow-up of participants who were parents of either infants or preschool children at Time 1. Phi coefficients indicated continuity in hoped-for and feared parenting possible selves across the total sample. An examination by gender indicated particularly strong continuity in hoped-for parenting possible selves for mothers. Chi-square analyses resulted in no significant group or gender differences in Time 2 hoped-for parenting possible selves. As in the Time 1 study (Hooker, Fiese, Kotary, Morfei, & Schwagler, 1996), mothers had significantly more feared parenting possible selves than did fathers. We discuss the importance of the contribution of this study to a relatively small literature on the effects of parenting on adult self-development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-223
Number of pages7
JournalBasic and Applied Social Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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