Evidence shows that chronic exposure to multiple stressors and constant encounters with profound challenges exhaust the mental power of people living in poverty, which greatly impairs their everyday performance (Mani, Mullainathan, Shafir, & Zhao, 2013). Young people have the potential to break long-standing cycles of poverty when they receive support and encouragement from programs attentive to their needs and capacities. Around the world, life skills education is being adopted as a means to empower young people in challenging situations (UNICEF, 2013). One intervention that aims to improve life skills performance involves increasing self-regulatory behaviors. The current study examines the effectiveness of using a self-regulatory strategy called mental contrasting and implementation intentions on improving the life skills performances of adolescents living in poverty. The participants of this study were 58 adolescent students, age 15 to 20, who came from low-income families and attended an after-school life skills-based center in India. There was no significant difference in overall perceived life skills performance improvement between the group that received MCII intervention and the group that did not. However, results of a 2x2 mixed design ANOVA showed a statistically significant interaction effect of condition (experimental group, control group) and time (pre-test, post-test) on the Career and Education Planning subsection, such that the improvement in this subsection was significant for the group that received MCII intervention, but not for the control group. This result suggests that participants in the experimental group perceived a significant increase in their performance and effort to attain their desired career goals. The current study aligns with prior research on self- regulatory strategies and their promising effects on life skills performance.


Thompson, Claudia




Self-Control, Life Skills, Self-Regulation, Poverty, Adolescence

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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