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Time Perspective in Late Adulthood: aging patterns in past, present and future dimensions, deviations from balance, and associations with subjective well-being
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Graduate School in Population Dynamics and Public Policy, Umeå University, Sweden.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2017 (English)In: Timing & Time Perception, ISSN 2213-445X, E-ISSN 2213-4468, Vol. 5, p. 77-98Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We examined cross-sectional aging patterns for subscales of the Swedish version of the Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory in a population-based sample of older adults (60–90 years; N = 447). Alternative methods to assess time perspective balance (DBTP, involving a single Future dimension; S-BTP; and DBTP-E, including in addition, Future Negative), were compared and their relations to subjective well-being (SWB) were examined. Significant negative age relations were observed for Past Negative and Future Negative with a clear age-related increase in Present Fatalistic, while Past Positive, Present Hedonistic, and Future Positive were relatively stable across age. A significant age-related increase in deviation from balance was observed across methods (Cohen’s ds 0.28–0.57), with the highest value for DBTP-E. Overall, S-BTP and DBTP-E were more strongly associated with SWB than DBTP (r = −0.40), with the highest value for DBTP-E (r = −0.53). Analyses of separate age groups (60–65 vs. 70–75 vs. 80–90 years) revealed a trend of weakened association with balance in old-old age, for S-BTP and DBTP-E in particular. This seemed to reflect the fact that negative views of the future are strongly related to SWB in young-old adults but diminish in importance in late senescence (80–90 years). Potential factors behind the observed patterns of results, including deficits in cognitive functioning and physical health to account for the age-related increase in present fatalism, and the potential role of a self-transcendent future time perspective for well-being in old-old age, are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Brill Academic Publishers, 2017. Vol. 5, p. 77-98
Keywords [en]
Time perspective, aging, balanced time perspective, cross-sectional, subjective well-being
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-131737DOI: 10.1163/22134468-00002081OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-131737DiVA, id: diva2:1075644
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 421-2012-650Swedish Research Council, 2015–02199Available from: 2017-02-20 Created: 2017-02-20 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Being in balance or stuck in time: exploring facets of time processing in relation to mental health
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Being in balance or stuck in time: exploring facets of time processing in relation to mental health
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Time is central in human functioning and crucial for adaptive behavior. The aim of the current thesis was to investigate aspects of people’s subjective experience of time and their relationship with mental health, specifically anxiety and subjective well-being. Two time concepts were of key interest in the thesis: time estimation, which refers to the ability to estimate time durations; and time perspective, which refers to people’s habitual way of relating to the past, the present, and the future.

 The thesis comprehends four studies. In the first three studies, time perspective and time estimation were investigated in persons with varying degrees of anxiety, ranging from mild symptoms to anxiety disorders. The results of these studies showed that in particular negative past time perspective and negative future time perspective were associated with anxiety. These time perspectives were further strongly associated with the tendency to ruminate and worry. Time estimation did not largely deviate between persons with anxiety and healthy controls, although there was some evidence that subcomponents of anxiety might be differentially related to time estimation. More specifically, state anxiety was moderately related to retrospective time estimation, such that higher levels of state anxiety was associated with judging time intervals in retrospect as longer.

 In the final study of the thesis, balanced time perspective (BTP) was examined in relation to subjective well-being and age. BTP can be described as an optimal way of relating to the past, the present and the future and has been suggested to facilitate mental health and well-being. However, there are several ways to measure BTP, and there are also indications that what constitutes a BTP is not completely age-invariant or equally associated with well-being across age. The fourth study of the thesis thus aimed at examining three methods of measuring BTP, and each methods distinct association with subjective well-being and age were examined. The study was conducted in a population-based sample of older adults (age range 60 – 90 years of old). Results of this study indicated subjective well-being is strongly related to BTP, particularly methods of measuring BTP that incorporates negative future time perspective. However, the strong (and inverse) relationship between negative future time perspective and subjective well-being diminished with increasing age. Instead, and among the oldest participants in the sample (80+ years), fatalistic views of the present had more bearing on subjective well-being.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University, 2018. p. 56
Keywords
Time perspective, Time estimation, Anxiety, Anxiety disorder, Balanced time perspective, Mental health, Subjective well-being
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Clinical Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-146267 (URN)978-91-7601-861-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-04-27, Norra beteendevetarhuset, HS1031, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-04-06 Created: 2018-04-03 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved

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Rönnlund, MichaelÅström, ElisabethCarelli, Maria Grazia

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