Time counts: Future time perspective, goals and social relationships

Department of Education, Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany.
Psychology and Aging (Impact Factor: 2.73). 04/2002; 17(1):125-39. DOI: 10.1037/0882-7974.17.1.125
Source: PubMed


On the basis of postulates derived from socioemotional selectivity theory, the authors explored the extent to which future time perspective (FTP) is related to social motivation, and to the composition and perceived quality of personal networks. Four hundred eighty German participants with ages ranging from 20 to 90 years took part in the study. In 2 card-sort tasks, participants indicated their partner preference and goal priority. Participants also completed questionnaires on personal networks and social satisfaction. Older people, as a group, perceived their future time as more limited than younger people. Individuals who perceived future time as being limited prioritized emotionally meaningful goals (e.g., generativity, emotion regulation), whereas individuals who perceived their futures as open-ended prioritized instrumental or knowledge-related goals. Priority of goal domains was found to be differently associated with the size, composition, and perceived quality of personal networks depending on FTP. Prioritizing emotion-regulatory goals was associated with greater social satisfaction and less perceived strain with others when participants perceived their future as limited. Findings underscore the importance of FTP in the self-regulation of social relationships and the subjective experience associated with them.

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    • "Esta hipótese tem sido explorada para outras populações, já que tem sido mostrado que tal consciencialização não deriva apenas da idade, podendo ser activada por acontecimentos como a doença (incurável, e.g. HIV) e/ou perdas significativas (Labouvie- Vief, 1997; Lang e Carstensen, 2002). "

    Full-text · Dataset · Dec 2015
    • "For example, perceptions about future time have been studied using proxies such as health status (Carstensen & Fredrickson, 1998), sociopolitical endings (Fung et al., 1999), perceptions of time left in life (Mirowsky, 1997), the Future Time Perspective Scale (Lang & Carstensen, 2002), or multifactorial timeperspective inventories (Zimbardo & Boyd, 1999) with the Future Time Perspective Scale being optimally suited to capture the sociomotivational mechanisms specified by SST. Furthermore, outcomes differ across a wide spectrum from social preferences (e.g., Carstensen & Fredrickson, 1998; Lang & Carstensen, 2002) to emotional and cognitive indicators of well-being (e.g., Allemand et al., 2012; Carstensen et al., 2011; Yeung et al., 2007). Taken together, findings are inconsistent with some studies showing positive associations between limited future time perceptions and subjective well-being and other studies showing negative associations between limited future time perceptions and subjective well-being. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: Perceptions of future time are of key interest to aging research because of their implications for subjective well-being. Interestingly, perceptions about future time are only moderately associated with age when looking at the second half of life, pointing to a vast heterogeneity in future time perceptions among older adults. We examine associations between future time perceptions, age, and subjective well-being across two studies, including moderations by individual resources. Method: Using data from the Berlin Aging Study (N = 516; M age = 85 years), we link one operationalization (subjective nearness to death) and age to subjective well-being. Using Health and Retirement Study data (N = 2,596; M age = 77 years), we examine associations of another future time perception indicator (subjective future life expectancy) and age with subjective well-being. Results: Consistent across studies, perceptions of limited time left were associated with poorer subjective well-being (lower life satisfaction and positive affect; more negative affect and depressive symptoms). Importantly, individual resources moderated future time perception-subjective well-being associations with those of better health exhibiting reduced future time perception-subjective well-being associations. Discussion: We discuss our findings in the context of the Model of Strength and Vulnerability Integration.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · The Journals of Gerontology Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
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    • "Not surprisingly, older adults reported a more limited future time perspective than younger adults. This finding is consistent with past empirical findings from cross-sectional (Allemand et al., 2012; Coudin & Lima, 2011; Lang & Carstensen, 2002) and longitudinal Future Time Perspective studies (Kotter-Grühn & Smith, 2011) indicating that individuals have some idea about their remaining lifetime (Kotter-Grühn et al., 2010). In particular, people may use health information when judging their future time perspective as limited or open-ended (Kooij & Van De Voorde, 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: Although a limited future time perspective has been theorized to be the underlying mechanism of positive emotional functioning later in life, there is scant empirical evidence for this position. Using an integrative data-analytic approach, we investigated the predictive value of future time perspective, age, and subjective health in explaining emotional functioning in a sample of 2,504 adults (17 to 87 years, M = 35.5, SD = 14.2). Although older adults reported a more limited future time perspective than younger adults, age and a limited future time perspective had opposite effects in predicting subjective well-being, affect, positive emotions, empathy, and attitudes toward emotions. That is, old age was linked to a more adaptive emotional profile, whereas a limited future time perspective was linked to a more maladaptive emotional profile. This was the case even after controlling for health-related aspects. The findings question the usage of future time perspective as an explanatory variable for observed age differences in emotional functioning.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Psychology and Aging
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