Errors in Self-Knowledge and the Transition to Adulthood

Toni Falbo, University of Texas at Austin
Lisa M. Yarnell, University of Texas at Austin

The present study is a preliminary exploration to determine if the application of a social psychological paradigm regarding systematic errors in self-knowledge will deepen our understanding of the origins of significant outcomes experienced during the transition to adulthood. These preliminary results demonstrated that the application of this paradigm to Waves I and III of Add Health data sheds light on the protective function of excessively positive self-evaluations, particularly for those who scored in the bottom quartile at the first wave. Our analyses revealed that those in the bottom quartile completed less education and were more likely to be overweight, but less likely to be underweight, than those in the top quartile. Despite these outcomes, youth who were in the bottom quartile did not become more depressed over time. Instead, for them, their perceptions of being "about average" or above average appeared to serve a protective purpose.

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Presented in Poster Session 1