Possible selves among parents of infants and preschoolers

Karen Hooker, Barbara H. Fiese, Lisa Jenkins, Milene Z. Morfei, Janet Schwagler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The potential impact of parenting on adult self-development was examined through the motivational construct of possible selves (hoped-for and feared scenarios for the future). The present study was designed to determine the extent to which parenting possible selves are present among young adults in the transition to parenthood phase and young adults in the early parenting phase. Results indicated that parenting was strongly represented among young adults' possible selves, though there were group and gender differences. Parents of infants were more likely to have hoped-for parenting selves than were parents of preschoolers, whereas preschool parents were somewhat more likely to have feared parenting selves than were infant parents. Mothers in both groups were more likely to have feared parenting selves than were fathers. Implications for the role of parenting in adult development are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)542-550
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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