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Time Attitude Profiles in Adolescents: Predicting Differences in Educational Outcomes and Psychological Wellbeing

  • Author(s): Andretta, James Russell
  • Advisor(s): Worrell, Frank C
  • et al.
Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to examine two research questions. Are there interpretable time attitude profiles based on positive and negative attitudes toward the past, the present, and the future in adolescents? If so, do time attitude profiles predict concurrent differences in adolescents' educational outcomes and psychological wellbeing?

Results indicated that there are adolescent time attitude profiles. Adolescents (M age = 16; N = 300) were grouped into three clusters: (a) an Optimistic profile (n = 85, 28.3%), (b) a Tendentially Pessimistic profile (n = 69, 23%), and (c) a Balanced profile (n = 146, 48.7%). Adolescents with the Optimistic profile reported substantially higher positive time attitude scores and substantially lower negative time attitude scores than sample mean scores across Adolescent Time Perspective Inventory-Time Attitude subscales (ATPI-TA; Mello & Worrell, 2007). Tendentially Pessimistic adolescents reported similar scores for positive and negative attitudes toward all three time periods. Scores for negative time attitudes among Tendentially Pessimistic adolescents were substantially higher than sample mean scores, and scores for positive time attitudes among Tendentially Pessimistic adolescents were substantially lower than sample mean scores. The Balanced profile was characterized by more pronounced positive attitudes than negative attitudes toward all three time periods, and this cluster's scores were closest to the overall sample means across ATPI-TA subscales.

Differences in adolescent time attitude profiles predicted concurrent differences in educational outcomes and psychological wellbeing. Optimistic adolescents reported higher scores for college type, educational expectations, grade point average, considering the future, and self-esteem than adolescents with Balanced or Tendentially Pessimistic profiles. Optimistic adolescents also reported the lowest scores for perceived stress. In contrast, adolescents with the Tendentially Pessimistic profile reported lower scores for college type, educational expectations, grade point average, considering the future, and self-esteem than adolescents with Balanced or Optimistic profiles. Moreover, Tendentially Pessimistic adolescents reported the highest scores for perceived stress.

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