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Book Title

Essays in Developmental Psychology

Document Type


Publication Date



Randall Summers, Charles Golden, Lisa Lashley, & Erica Ailes


group memberships, individual future self, individual past self, individual present self, possible selves, self-concept, social roles



Self-concept is an individual’s idea of who the individual was in the past, who the individual is at present, and who that individual has the potential to become in the future. When considering self-concept, group memberships and other social roles typically shape how an individual thinks about him- or herself. A strong self-concept helps an individual to make sense of his or her present situation, maintains positive feelings through difficult situations, make sensible predictions about the future, as well as helps to sustain motivation.

Additional Information

This is one in a collection of essays as part of a project that began as an encyclopedia of developmental psychology coordinated by Dr. Randall Summers. However, for unforeseen reasons, the publisher was no longer in a position to publish the encyclopedia. This project was undertaken so that thousands of hours of work by psychologists would not go wasted. Enjoy these essays and feel free to cite them using the proper format.

Submit suggestions for corrections and topics to goldench@nova.edu.




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