Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 99–113

Future-time perspective in adolescence: The present of things future revisited

  • A. L. Greene

DOI: 10.1007/BF02141732

Cite this article as:
Greene, A.L. J Youth Adolescence (1986) 15: 99. doi:10.1007/BF02141732


Several theorists have suggested that the observed changes in adolescent future-time perspective are due to the emergence of formal-operations reasoning [e. g., T. J. Cottle and S. Klineberg (1974),The Present of Things Future, Free Press-Macmillan, New York; P. Fraisse (1963),The Psychology of Time, Harper & Row, New York; H. Hartmann (1958),Ego Psychology and the Problem of Adaptation, International Universities Press, New York; J. Piaget (1968),Six Psychological Studies, Vintage Book, New York]. Using a cross-sectional sample of 60 Caucasian adolescents, the present study was designed to examine this hypostatized interrelation. Data obtained through individual interviews provide only limited support for a cognitive hypothesis. As predicted, older students showed greater future extension and the more cognitively advanced students proved better able to project a set of events into the distant future. However, neither the older, nor the more cognitively advanced, students projected a greater number or a more consistent set of future events than did their respective counterparts. Moreover, analysis of the types of events projected obtained significance only for grade level. The findings are discussed from a contextualist perspective, within which consideration is given to the influence of experiential and life-span status factors.

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. L. Greene
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWest Virginia UniversityMorgantown