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RCT of a digital possible selves intervention (ME GAMES) administered in after-school programs in the Southern and Midwestern US, 2017-2018

Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
  • Oyserman, Daphna (University of Southern California)
Publication Date
Funding Reference
    • Award Number: 5R44MD008582-04
Free Keywords
motivation; identity; possible selves; intervention; adolescence
  • Abstract

    This data set includes the baseline, end of intervention (post) and follow-up surveys of children randomly assigned to either intervention or control. The intervention group engaged with ME GAMES©, a set of digital activities and discussions designed as an operationalization of possible self and identity-based motivation (IBM) theory into a set of activities combining game play and group discussion. The discussions were meant to help adolescents see the implications of the game play for the three components of IBM that – (1) the future starts now and is important, (2) now is the time to take action, and (3) difficulties along the way are a normal part of reaching an important goal in life. ME GAMES© included 5 sessions, each with primary content scaffolded by two mini-games, linked group discussion, and take-home parent discussion questions totaling 10 to 12 hours to be delivered by afterschool program staff.

    Though planned to occur in the summer prior to the start of the school year, the program was actually implemented at various times during the school year. Though planned to occur twice weekly over three weeks, the program was actually implemented in 1 or 2 days, typically during the same week. Though control participants were meant to play a computer game in lieu of ME GAMES©, control participants completed the otherwise planned after-school program activities. Though planned to be collected prior to intervention, immediately after, and three months after intervention, child surveys were collected at various times.

    Each survey contains measures of student interpretations of experienced difficulty, next-year possible selves, experienced closeness and overlap of future self with current self, and self-reports of their engagement in school. Next-year possible selves were coded for school-focused content and number of strategies participants generated for attaining them.
  • Technical Information

    Response Rates: 418 children aged 11-14 in 16 after-school programs provided parental consent to participate in the study. Of these, 276 students actually participated, though 98 of these were in sites that failed to adhere to study protocol and were treated as a pilot. We report the response rate of these 98 pilot children separately from the remaining 178 children who were at sites that did adhere to study protocol given that less energy was spent following up with the pilot children.

    Within the pilot sample, all 98 children completed Time 0 baseline survey. 33 (33.7%) children completed the Time 1 follow-up survey and 13 (13.3%) completed the Time 2 follow-up survey.

    Of the 178 children at sites that adhered to study protocol, 177 completed the Time 0 baseline survey. 157 (88.2%) children completed the Time 1 follow-up survey and 105 (59.0%) completed the Time 2 follow-up survey.

  • Technical Information

    Presence of Common Scales: Interpretations of experienced difficulty (Difficulty Mindsets): Oyserman, D., Destin, M., & Novin, S. (2015). The context-sensitive future self: Possible selves motivate in context, not otherwise. Self and identity, 14(2), 173-188.

    Next-year possible selves: Oyserman, D., Bybee, D., Terry, K., & Hart-Johnson, T. (2004). Possible selves as roadmaps. Journal of Research in personality, 38(2), 130-149.

    Student self-reported school engagement and disruption: Finn, J. D., & Voelkl, K. E. (1993). School characteristics related to student engagement. The Journal of Negro Education, 62(3), 249-268.
    Self-reported pubertal development: adapted from Petersen, A. C., Crockett, L., Richards, M., & Boxer, A. (1988). A self-report measure of pubertal status: Reliability, validity, and initial norms. Journal of youth and adolescence, 17(2), 117-133.
Temporal Coverage
  • 2017-06-01 / 2018-09-30
    Time Period: Thu Jun 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017--Sun Sep 30 00:00:00 EDT 2018
Geographic Coverage
  • Midwestern United States
  • Southern United States
Convenience sample of after-school programs in the Southern United States (VA, FL, AL, MD) and Midwest (MO). The after-school programs selected students who regularly attended their programs who also met study criteria.To be included in the study, children needed written parental consent to participate and for school records to be collected, be between the ages of 11 to 14, able to read English (given that the games included reading), and able to assent to participate (assent was obtained at each data collection point).
Collection Mode
  • other~~web-based survey~~

    Time of implementation varied with site of delivery and surveys administered after intervention varied in terms of timing. Dates of surveys are included in the data file.


Update Metadata: 2019-06-01 | Issue Number: 1 | Registration Date: 2019-06-01

Carter, Laverne; Oyserman, Daphna (2019): RCT of a digital possible selves intervention (ME GAMES) administered in after-school programs in the Southern and Midwestern US, 2017-2018. Version: 1. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.