Universiteit Leiden

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PhD Defence

Dear Future Me

  • L.P.E. van der Aar
Tuesday 15 June 2021
Academy Building
Rapenburg 73
2311 GJ Leiden


In this thesis, I investigated the behavioral and neural processes involved in self-concept development in adolescence within the context of future-oriented educational decision-making. The studies presented in this thesis all highlight that self-concept is a multifaceted and complex construct that not only develops in interaction with the social environment, but can also have an impact on someone’s future environment.

For example, results from chapter 2 indicated that the social environment, expressed in the outcomes of social comparisons, can affect the positivity of the self to a different extent across multiple domains and different stages of adolescence. Chapter 3 showed how adolescents’ academic self-concept can influence their motivation to stay committed to goals important for their future educational environment, whereas chapter 4 illustrated differences in self-esteem and self-concept clarity in individuals who differed in their experienced problems with choosing this future educational environment. Finally, chapter 5 demonstrated that in late adolescence, sensitivity to outside influences can be used to stimulate self-concept development through training which can ultimately help adolescents in their educational decision-making and adjustment in higher education.

Together, these studies provide a comprehensive view on self-concept development in adolescence that takes place within a broader social, and educational context.


  • Prof. E.A.M. Crone

PhD dissertations

PhD dissertations by Leiden PhD students are available digitally after the defence through the Leiden Repository, that offers free access to these PhD dissertations. Please note that in some cases a dissertation may be under embargo temporarily and access to its full-text version will only be granted later.

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+31 71 527 3282

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