Time perspective and substance use: an examination across three adolescent samples

Laura J. Finan, Ashley N. Linden-Carmichael, Ashley R. Adams, Alyssa Youngquist, Sharon Lipperman-Kreda, Zena R. Mello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Time perspective is conceptualized as a multidimensional construct that assesses individuals’ feelings and thoughts about the past, present, and future. The current study examined relationships between feelings (time attitudes) and thoughts (time orientation) about time and substance use behaviors across three adolescent samples. Participants included a high-risk sample of adjudicated youth (N = 124; M age = 15.54, SD = 1.69; 51.61% female) and two general population school samples (N = 777; M age = 15.82, SD = 1.23; 53.41% female; N = 1873; M age = 15.87, SD = 1.28; 52.22% female). Cross-sectional survey data were collected from samples in schools during 2010, 2016, and 2011, respectively. Poisson and negative binomial regression analyses indicated that overall, more positive feelings about time were associated with fewer substances used and, conversely, more negative feelings about time were associated with more substances used. These findings were particularly salient for participants with stronger positive and negative feelings toward the past and present time periods. Further, across the three samples, adolescents with a balanced time orientation (i.e. equal emphasis on all three time periods) generally reported less substance use than individuals who emphasized only one or two time periods. Findings highlight relationships between time perspective dimensions and substance use across diverse samples and illustrate opportunities for adapting time perspective-based substance use interventions for adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-118
Number of pages7
JournalAddiction Research and Theory
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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