Background: Future time perspective has been associated with subjective well-being, though depending on the line of research considered either an open-ended future time perspective or a limited future time perspective has been associated with high well-being. Most of this research however has conceptualized future time perspective as a one-dimensional construct, whereas recent evidence has demonstrated that there are likely at least two different underlying dimensions, a focus on opportunities and a focus on limitations. This project first seeks to replicate the two-dimensional structure of the Future Time Perspective Scale, and then examines the associations these dimensions may have with different measures of subjective well-being and a biological index of chronic stress. Objective: To test if the two dimensions of the Future Time Perspective Scale, a focus on opportunities and a focus on limitations, differentially associate with two measures of subjective well-being and a biological indicator of chronic stress, namely hair cortisol. Method: Sixty-six community-dwelling participants with a mean age of 72 years (SD = 5.83) completed the Future Time Perspective Scale, Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, and Philadelphia Geriatric Center Morale Scale. Participants also provided a 3-cm-long hair strand to index cortisol accumulation over the past 3 months. Following the results of a factor analysis, a mediation model was created for each dimension of the Future Time Perspective Scale, and significance testing was done through a bootstrapping approach to harness maximal statistical power. Results: Factor analysis results replicated the two-dimensional structure of the Future Time Perspective Scale. Both dimensions were then found to have unique associations with well-being. Specifically, a high focus on opportunities was associated with fewer depressive symptoms and higher morale, whereas a low focus on limitations was associated with reduced hair cortisol, though this association was mediated by subjective well-being. Conclusion: Results replicate and extend previous research by pointing to the multi-dimensional nature of the Future Time Perspective Scale. While an open future time perspective was overall beneficial for well-being, the exact association each dimension had with well-being differed depending on whether subjective measures of well-being or biological indices of chronic stress were considered.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geriatrics and Gerontology