Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Kathleen L. Davis

Committee Members

Marla P. Peterson, William Poppen, M. Kathleen Warden, June Gorski


This study examined the possible selves of 199 low-income women in eight rural counties in East Tennessee. The women in the study were ages 18 to 59 and were attending either adult basic education classes (OHS group) or community college developmental classes (DEV group). Possible selves, which may reflect hopes or fears, are one's conceptions of what one may become in the future (Markus and Nurius, 1986). The two groups were compared as to a number of variables related to hoped-for and feared occupational possible selves. The effect of the following four predictors was examined for likelihood oflow-income women's achieving their most hoped-for self or likelihood of their becoming their most feared self: group membership, attained educational level, balance between their most hoped-for and their most feared selves, and locus of control (Spheres of Control scores).

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