Exploring the Role of Time Perspective in Emerging Adult Couples: A Mediation Model

Abstract

Literature has consistently highlighted the role of time perspective (TP) in predicting different psychological outcomes. Despite the importance that TP seems to have, few studies have investigated its role in personal relationships or attempted to explain the underlying mechanisms within this complex model. The purpose of this study was therefore to expand research not only on the associations between the TP frames (past, present and future) and couple satisfaction, but also to test a model that sees TP as a mediator in the relationship between family functioning and couple satisfaction. One hundred and forty-six heterosexual couples of emerging adults (aged between 20 and 34) participated in the study. Path analyses showed that only present-orientated TP was linked to higher couple satisfaction in both partners, simultaneously playing a mediating role between the family functioning and the quality of the couple’s relationship. Unexpectedly, partners’ effects were not significant in the model. Finally, the implications of these findings for future studies and practical interventions are discussed.

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MG assisted with generation of the initial draft of the manuscript, data analyses, study design and concept and manuscript editing, SC assisted with manuscript editing, data analysis, study design and concept, MLC assisted with data analysis, data interpretation, and manuscript editing, FL assisted with data interpretation, manuscript editing, and study supervision. All authors take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. All authors contributed to and have approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Maria C. Gugliandolo.

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Gugliandolo, M.C., Costa, S., Lo Cricchio, M. et al. Exploring the Role of Time Perspective in Emerging Adult Couples: A Mediation Model. J Happiness Stud (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-021-00368-3

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Keywords

  • Time perspective
  • Family functioning
  • Couple satisfaction
  • Emerging adults