Get access

Coping With Life Events Through Possible Selves


  • The authors thank Ashley Twarkins for her help with data collection. They also thank the editor and the reviewers for their insightful and helpful comments.

Leslie D. Frazier, Department of Psychology, DM 282, University Park Campus, Florida International University, Miami, FL 33199. E-mail:


This study examines the integration of life events into the possible-selves repertoire and explores the potential relationship between event-related possible selves and coping. The sample consisted of 198 participants between 18 and 84 years old. Participants were given the Possible Selves Interview, the Social Readjustment Rating Scale, and the Ways of Coping Checklist–Revised. The results indicate that a positive correlation exists between the stress level of a life event and the degree to which that event integrates into the possible-selves repertoire. A life event that demonstrates a high degree of integration results in a positive impact on coping. This study paves the way for prevention programs aimed at promoting an individual's well-being while facing challenging life events across adulthood.