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Insights into features of anxiety through multiple aspects of psychological time
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Statistics.
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2014 (English)In: Journal of Integrative Psychology and Therapeutics, ISSN 2054-4723, Vol. 2, article id 3Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: It is well-recognized that emotions and emotional disorders may alter the experience of time. Yet relatively little is known about different aspects of psychological time in relation to anxiety. The purpose of the present study was to explore several aspects of temporal processing, including time perspective, prospective and retrospective time estimation, in persons with anxiety symptoms.

Methods: A total of 110 individuals with varying degrees of anxiety participated in two studies. They were assigned to two groups (anxiety–control) based on their scores on anxiety measurements. Participants also completed an inventory of time perspective and several time estimation tasks which were analyzed on a group-level. Depressive symptoms were assessed and used as a covariate in the second study.

Results: Anxiety was significantly associated with Past Negative and Future Negative time perspectives as measured by the Swedish Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory (S-ZTPI), even when controlling for the effect of depressive symptoms. No other significant differences were found.

Conclusion: Exploring time perspective in persons with anxious symptoms may provide important insights into features of anxiety. These findings may offer new ways of conceptualizing anxiety and provide suggestions for treatment strategies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Herbert Publications Ltd , 2014. Vol. 2, article id 3
Keywords [en]
Anxiety, depression, mental health, temporal processing, time assessment, time estimation, time perspective
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-94814DOI: 10.7243/2054-4723-2-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-94814DiVA, id: diva2:756436
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 421-2012-650 VRAvailable from: 2014-10-17 Created: 2014-10-17 Last updated: 2018-06-07Bibliographically 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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Åström, ElisabethWiberg, BrittSircova, AnnaWiberg, MarieCarelli, Maria Grazia

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