Unraveling the direct and indirect effects between future time perspective and subjective well-being across adulthood

Tianyuan LI, Pok Man SIU

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: While the socioemotional selectivity theory (SST) argues for a negative relationship between future time perspective (FTP) and subjective well-being (SWB), empirical studies have found contradictory results. The current study resolved the controversy by examining the indirect effect between FTP and SWB through preference of life goals. Age differences in the mediation effects were also tested.
Method: A total of 432 participants were surveyed for their FTP, life goals, depression, life satisfaction, and demographical background. The three components of FTP, extension (FTE), opportunity (FTO), and constraint (FTC), were examined respectively. Regression based mediation models were estimated to test the direct and indirect effects between FTP components and SWB. Moderated mediation models were adopted to test age differences in the above effects.
Results: Opposite direct and indirect effects between FTP components and SWB were identified. FTE and FTO were related to relatively fewer present-focused life goals, and then to lower life satisfaction and higher depression. However, FTE and FTO were directly related to higher life satisfaction. FTC was not significantly related to preference of life goals but had a direct positive effect with depression. Moreover, older age attenuated the positive direct effect between FTO and life satisfaction, as well as the negative effect between preference to present-focused goals and depression.
Conclusion: The results highlight the critical role of life goal preference for understanding the complex relationship between FTP and subjective well-being. The differential effects of the three FTP components also suggest the importance to examine each component individually in future studies. Copyright © 2019 Informa UK Limited.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAging & Mental Health
Early online date22 Nov 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Nov 2019

Citation

Li, T., & Siu, P.-M. (2019). Unraveling the direct and indirect effects between future time perspective and subjective well-being across adulthood. Aging & Mental Health. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/13607863.2019.1693965

Keywords

  • Future time perspective
  • Socioemotional selectivity theory
  • Life goal
  • Subjective well-being
  • Indirect effect

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