Social possible selves, self-regulation, and social goal progress in older adulthood

Han Jung Ko, Shannon Mejía, Karen Hooker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lifespan development involves setting and pursuing self-guided goals. This study examines how in the social domain, possible selves, a future-oriented self-concept, and self-regulation, including self-regulatory beliefs and intraindividual variability in self-regulatory behavior, relate to differences in overall daily social goal progress. An online older-adult sample worked towards a self-defined meaningful social goal over 100 days. Multilevel analysis showed that participants with social possible selves made higher overall daily goal progress, especially those with both hoped-for and feared possible selves, than those with possible selves in nonsocial domains. Self-regulatory beliefs were positively whereas variability was negatively associated with overall daily goal progress. The findings suggest that possible selves, in combination with two distinct self-regulatory constructs, significantly guide social goal progress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-227
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • goal progress
  • intraindividual variability
  • possible selves
  • self-regulation
  • self-regulatory beliefs
  • social goal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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