An examination of the present and future selves of adolescents: Investigating possible selves and self-esteem in relation to gender and attachment

Charlene McClelland


Gender differences in self-esteem and possible selves have long been documented, in particular girls have been reported to have lower self-esteem and generate more interpersonally oriented possible selves than boys during adolescence. To explore these findings the current study wanted to look at gender differences and relationship factors i.e. attachment, in regards to possible selves. The study investigated the possible selves generated by 52 adolescents aged 13-16 years, as well as measuring their self-esteem and attachment patterns. As predicted the results supported previous findings on gender differences, with the addition of finding attachment differences. In particular insecure participants had lower self-esteem and rated hoped-for selves as less likely to occur. As expected these attachment differences were more prevalent in girls.

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