We conducted a systematic review of studies focused on the influence of possible selves on health-risk and health-promoting behaviors in adolescents. Fourteen studies were reviewed. Most studies focused on health-risk behaviors, with substance use the most frequently addressed outcome. Drawing firm conclusions based on study findings was hampered by the lack of convergence in possible self properties addressed and inconsistencies in methodology. However, possible self properties that show the most promise are likelihood of achieving a possible self in a target domain and presence of a possible self in a target domain. Findings have important implications for guiding future research on health behaviors in adolescents and indicate that possible selves may be an important target for designing health-promoting and risk-reduction interventions.
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