Graduating from college is an important time of life transitions and career development for undergraduates and their future. Future self-identification, the connection between an individual’s current and future self, can negatively predict depression and utilize self-control as a mechanism to achieve later academic goals. Investigating an individual’s future self- identification, depression scores, and behavioral outcomes in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic can help optimize college graduate success in an uncertain world. The present study aimed to (1) determine if earlier future self-identification moderated the changes between later outcomes (e.g., depression, perceived alcohol consumption, and academic and career goals) from pre-COVID-19 to during COVID-19, (2) investigate if psychological resources (e.g., self-control and emotion regulation) had any intermediary effects between earlier future self-identification and later depression and behavioral outcomes during the pandemic, and (3) test for any moderation effects of future self-identification on the relationship between available psychological resources before COVID-19 and during COVID-19. The present research demonstrated that students with greater earlier future self-identification were less likely to change their academic and career goals and were less likely to experience symptoms of depression during the pandemic. Additionally, self-control was demonstrated as an intermediary factor between earlier future self-identification and later academic and career goal changes. These findings may help college graduates develop resilience in other stressful situations.
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