Measuring Future Time Perspective across Adulthood: Development and Evaluation of a Brief Multidimensional Questionnaire.
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KeywordsFuture orientation; Life-span development; Multidimensional assessment; Adulthood;
Permissions© 2014 Oxford University Press. This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in the Gerontologist following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/geront/gnu076
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY: Despite calls for the consideration of future time perspective (FTP) as a multidimensional construct, mostly unidimensional measurement instruments have been used. This study had two objectives: (a) to develop a brief multidimensional questionnaire for assessing FTP in adulthood and evaluate its psychometric properties; and (b) to examine age associations and age-group differences of the dimensions of FTP. DESIGN AND METHODS: Data were collected from 625 community-residing adults between the ages of 18 and 93, representing young, middle-aged, and older adults. The psychometric evaluation involved exploratory factor analyses (EFA) and confirmatory FA (CFA), reliability and validity analyses, and measurement invariance testing. Zero-order and partial correlations were used to examine the association of the dimensions of FTP with age, and multivariate analysis of variance was used to examine age-group differences. RESULTS: EFA and CFA supported a three-factor solution: Future as Open, Future as Limited, and Future as Ambiguous. Metric measurement invariance for this factor structure was confirmed across the three age groups. Reliability and validity analyses provided evidence of sound psychometric properties of the brief questionnaire. Age was negatively associated with Future as Open and positively associated with Future as Limited. Young adults exhibited significantly greater ambiguity toward the future than middle-aged or older adults. IMPLICATIONS: This study provides evidence in support of the psychometric properties of a new brief multidimensional FTP scale. It also provides evidence for a pattern of age associations and age-group differences consistent with life-span developmental theory.