In control of future time: Sense of control weakens the negative association between age and future time perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

Abstract

Future time perspective has been found to significantly influence people’s cognitive preferences, social choices, and subjective well-being across adulthood. While increasing chronological age is considered as a natural correlate of more limited future time perspective, few studies have investigated other factors related to individual differences in future time perspective. Based on a sample of 372 participants of a wide age range, the current study tested sense of control as an important determinant of future time perspective and a moderator of the association between age and future time perspective. Three different components of future time perspective, extension (FTE), opportunity (FTO), and constraint (FTC), were tested separately. Consistent with the expectation, higher sense of control was related to more open-ended future time perspective (higher FTE and FTO, lower FTC). More importantly, sense of control significantly moderated the associations between age and two components of future time perspective (FTE and FTC). For individuals with high sense of control, older age was no longer related to more limited future time perspective. The results highlight the importance of sense of control in maintaining a positive perception of future time and suggest that psychological resource can interact with chronological age to influence future time perspective. Copyright © 2020 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Psychology
Early online date28 Aug 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Aug 2020

Citation

Li, T. (2020). In control of future time: Sense of control weakens the negative association between age and future time perspective. Current Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s12144-020-01019-1

Keywords

  • Age differences
  • Future time perspective
  • Sense of control
  • Socioemotional selectivity theory

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