Time perspective and mental health continuum: what are the time perspective profiles of flourishing, moderately mentally healthy, and languishing individuals?
Time perspective (TP) refers to individuals’ ways of constructing, reconstructing, and relating the psychological concepts of past, present, and future, and provides individuals with a coherence of experiences over time. In the present study, the relationships among five TPs (past negative, past positive, present fatalistic, present hedonistic, and future) were studied in a student sample (N = 280) using a person-oriented approach, as well as their relationships with continuous measures of emotional, psychological, and social well-being and three categories on the mental health continuum (flourishing, moderately mentally healthy, and languishing). A cluster analysis resulted in seven TP profiles, including balanced, present hedonistic, risk-taking, negative, diffuse/future-oriented, present-oriented, and diffuse. Individuals with the balanced profile (high scores for past positive and future and low scores for past negative and present fatalistic, along with below-average scores for present hedonistic) reported the highest levels of well-being, while individuals with the negative TP profile (very low past positive, low present hedonistic and future, high past negative, and above-average present fatalistic) reported the lowest levels of well-being. The results also showed that flourishing individuals tended to have the balanced TP profile while languishing individuals tended to have the negative TP profile more often than could be expected by chance. Moderately mentally healthy individuals had rather diverse TP profiles.
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