Possible Health Selves of Older African Americans: Toward Increasing the Effectiveness of Health Promotion Efforts

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Possible selves are cognitive representations of the self in the future that motivate planning and behavior. This study explored possible health selves among rural-dwelling African Americans. Older African American respondents described their hoped-for and feared selves, as well as activities they initiated to achieve or avoid these selves. Three categories of possible selves emerged: health, social, and spiritual. The findings provide a basis for the development of culturally relevant health intervention programs.

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