DOI: 10.1177/02724316231216380 ISSN: 0272-4316

Adolescent Stressful Life Events Predict Future Self- Connectedness in Adulthood

Benjamin Ganschow, Sven Zebel, Job van der Schalk, Hal E. Hershfield, Jean-Louis van Gelder
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

In this study, we investigate how the accumulation of stressful life events and chronic stressors experienced in adolescence predict young adults’ future self-identification (i.e., connectedness, vividness, and valence of the future self) in a sample of 1482 Swiss youth. Furthermore, we investigate future self-identification as a source of resilience mediating the association between accumulated stressful life events on the one hand, and increased delinquency and less educational attainment on the other. In line with our hypothesis, we found that experiencing more stressful life events predicted reduced future self-connectedness. This was not the case for vividness and valence of the future self. Furthermore, we found that future self-connectedness partially mediated the association between stressful life events and low educational attainment. Lastly, latent class trajectories revealed that there was no association between the timing of stressful life events – whether in early or late adolescence – and future self-identification.

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