Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 351–364 | Cite as

The Ant and the Grasshopper: Adolescents’ Time Perspective, Satisfaction with Life and the Mediating Role of Hope

  • Susanna Pallini
  • Michela MilioniEmail author
  • Fiorenzo Laghi
  • Giovanni Maria Vecchio
Research Paper


The present study examined the predictive role played by the three time perspective’s dimensions (Present-Hedonistic, Present-Fatalistic and Future) on the satisfaction with life and the mediational role of hope in adolescence, using cross-sectional data. Participants were 675 adolescents (333 males and 342 females), with a mean age of 17.4 years (SD = .84). Adolescents lived in Rome and its surroundings regions and attended the 3th or the 4th year of high school. A structural equation modeling was used. The results shown that Present-Hedonistic predicts directly and indirectly (through agency) the life satisfaction; Future and Present-Fatalistic predicts indirectly (through agency) the life satisfaction; the Present-Hedonistic and Future predicted the pathway, but it does not seem to play a role of mediator. This model is the same for males and females. These results offers new useful guidance to adolescents’ counsellors and educators that should endeavor to increase the hope of both Present and Future oriented adolescents.


Adolescence Time perspective Satisfaction with life Hope Gender differences 


  1. Barcaccia, B., Esposito, G., Matarese, M., Bertolaso, M., Elvira, M., & De Marinis, M. G. (2013). Defining quality of life: A wild-goose chase? European Journal of Psychology, 9, 185–203. doi: 10.1007/s11136-014-0898-y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bendayan, R., Blanca, M. J., Fernández-Baena, J. F., Escobar, M., & Trianes, M. V. (2013). New empirical evidence on the validity of the satisfaction with life scale in early adolescents. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 29, 36–43. doi: 10.1027/1015-5759/a000118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bollen, K. A. (1989). Structural equations with latent variables. New York: Wiley.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boniwell, I., Osin, E., Alex Linley, P., & Ivanchenko, G. V. (2010). A question of balance: Time perspective and well-being in British and Russian samples. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 5, 24–40. doi: 10.1080/17439760903271181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Boniwell, I., & Zimbardo, P. G. (2004). Balancing time perspective in pursuit of optimal functioning. In P. A. Linley & S. Joseph (Eds.), Positive psychology in practice (pp. 165–178). New Jersey: Wiley.Google Scholar
  6. Bradley, R. H., & Corwyn, R. F. (2004). Life satisfaction among European American, African American, Chinese American, Mexican American, and Dominican American adolescents. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 28, 385–500. doi: 10.1080/01650250444000072.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Browne, M. W., & Cudeck, R. (1993). Alternative ways of assessing model fit. In K. A. Bollen & S. J. Long (Eds.), Testing structural equation models (pp. 137–162). Newbery Park: Sage.Google Scholar
  8. Burnham, K. B., & Anderson, D. R. (2004). Multimodel inference: Understanding AIC and BIC in model selection. Sociological Methods Research, 33, 261–304. doi: 10.1177/0049124104268644.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Byrne, B. (1994). Testing the factorial validity, replication, and invariance of a measuring instrument: A paradigmatic application based on the Maslach Burnout Inventory. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 29, 289–311. doi: 10.1207/s15327906mbr2903_5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Caprara, G. V., & Steca, P. (2005). Affective and social self-regulatory efficacy beliefs as determinants of positive thinking and happiness. European Psychologist, 10(4), 275–286. doi: 10.1027/1016-9040.10.4.275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Caprara, G. V., Steca, P., Gerbino, M., Paciello, M., & Vecchio, G. M. (2006). Looking for adolescents’ well-being: self-efficacy beliefs as determinants of positive thinking and happiness. Epidemiologia e Psichiatria Sociale, 15(1), 29–41. doi: 10.1017/S1121189X00002013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chua, L. W., Milfont, T. L., & Jose, P. E. (2014). Coping skills help explain how future-oriented adolescents accrue greater well-being over time. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. doi: 10.1007/s10964-014-0230-8.Google Scholar
  13. Creed, P., Prideaux, L. A., & Patton, W. (2005). Antecedents and consequences of career decisional states in adolescence. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 67, 397–412. doi: 10.1016/j.jvb.2004.08.008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Damon, W. (2004). What is positive youth development? The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 591, 13–24. doi: 10.1177/0002716203260092.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Diener, E. (2000). Subjective well-being: The science of happiness, and a proposal for a national index. American Psychologist, 55, 34–43. doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.55.1.34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The satisfaction with life scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71–75. doi: 10.1207/s15327752jpa4901_13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Diener, E., Inglehart, R., & Tay, L. (2013). Theory and validity of life satisfaction scales. Social Indicators Research, 112, 497–527. doi: 10.1007/s11205-012-0076-y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Emmons, R. A. (1986). Personal strivings: An approach to personality and subjective well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 1058–1068. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.51.5.1058.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Emmons, R. A., & Diener, E. (1986). A goal-affect analysis of everyday situational choices. Journal of Research in Personality, 20, 309–326. doi: 10.1016/0092-6566(86)90137-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ferrari, L., Nota, L., & Soresi, S. (2010). Time perspective and indecision in young and older adolescents. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 38, 61–82. doi: 10.1080/03069880903408612.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ferrari, L., Nota, L., & Soresi, S. (2012). Evaluation of an intervention to foster time perspective and career decidedness in a group of Italian adolescents. Career Development Quarterly, 60, 82–96. doi: 10.1002/j.2161-0045.2012.00007.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gilman, R., Dooley, J., & Florell, D. (2006). Relative levels of hope and their relationship with academic and psychological indicators among adolescents. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 25, 166–178. doi: 10.1521/jscp.2006.25.2.166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gilman, R., & Huebner, S. (2003). A review of life satisfaction research with children and adolescents. School Psychology Quarterly, 18(2), 192–205. doi: 10.1521/scpq. Scholar
  24. Gilman, R., & Huebner, E. S. (2006). Characteristics of adolescents who report very high life satisfaction. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 35, 311–319. doi: 10.1007/s10964-006-9036-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Goldbeck, L., Schmitz, T. G., Besier, T., Herschbach, P., & Henrich, G. (2007). Life satisfaction decreases during adolescence. Quality of Life Research, 16, 969–979. doi: 10.1007/s11136-007-9205-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Góngora, V. C. (2014). Satisfaction with life, well-being, and meaning in life as protective factors of eating disorder symptoms and body dissatisfaction in adolescents. Eating Disorders, 22, 435–449. doi: 10.1080/10640266.2014.931765.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Halama, P. (2010). Hope as a mediator between personality traits and life satisfaction. Studia Psychologica, 52, 309–314.Google Scholar
  28. Heckhausen, J., Wrosch, C., & Schulz, R. (2010). A motivational theory of life-span development. Psychological Review, 117, 32–60. doi: 10.1037/a0017668.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hu, L., & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling, 6, 1–55. doi: 10.1080/10705519909540118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Jiang, X., Huebner, E. S., & Hills, K. J. (2013). Parent attachment and early adolescents’life satisfaction: The mediating effect of hope. Psychology in the Schools, 50, 340–352. doi: 10.1002/pits.21680.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Jovanović, V., & Gavrilov-Jerković, V. (2014). The good, the bad (and the ugly): The role of curiosity in subjective well-being and risky behaviors among adolescents. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 55, 38–44. doi: 10.1111/sjop.12084.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Keough, K. A., Zimbardo, P. G., & Boyd, J. N. (1999). Who’s smoking, drinking, and using drugs? Time perspective as a predictor of substance use. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 21, 149–164. doi: 10.1207/S15324834BA210207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kimweli, D. M. S., & Stilwell, W. E. (2002). Community subjective well-being, personality traits and quality of life therapy. Social Indicators Research, 60, 193–225. doi: 10.1023/A:1021265115608.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kline, R. B. (2010). Principles and practices of structural equation modeling. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  35. Laghi, F., Baiocco, R., Liga, F., Guarino, A., & Baumgartner, E. (2013). Identity status differences among Italian adolescents: Associations with time perspective. Children and Youth Services Review, 35, 482–487. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2012.12.018.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Laghi, F., D’Alessio, M., Pallini, S., & Baiocco, R. (2009). Attachment representations and time perspective in adolescence. Social Indicators Research, 90, 181–194. doi: 10.1007/s11205-008-9249-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Laghi, F., Pallini, S., Baumgartner, E., & Baiocco, R. (2015). Parent and peer attachment relationships and time perspective in adolescence: Are they related to satisfaction with life? Time and Society, 25, 24–39. doi: 10.1177/0961463X15577282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Ma, C. Q., & Huebner, E. S. (2008). Attachment relationships and adolescents’ life satisfaction: Some relationships matter more to girls than boys. Psychology in the Schools, 45, 177–190. doi: 10.1002/pits.20288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. MacDonald, J. M., Piquero, A. R., Valois, R. F., & Zullig, K. J. (2005). The relationship between life satisfaction, risk-taking behaviors, and youth violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 20, 1495–1518. doi: 10.1177/0886260505278718.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Marttinen, E., & Salmela-Aro, K. (2012). Personal goal orientations and subjective well-being of adolescents. Japanese Psychological Research, 54, 263–273. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-5884.2012.00521.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Mello, Z. R., & Worrell, F. C. (2006). The relationship of time perspective to age, gender, and academic achievement among academically talented adolescents. Journal for the Education of the Gifted, 29(3), 271–289. doi: 10.1177/016235320602900302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Mello, Z. R., & Worrell, F. C. (2007). The adolescent time inventory-English. Berkeley: The University of California.Google Scholar
  43. Mello, Z. R., & Worrell, F. C. (2015). The past, the present, and the future: A conceptual model of time perspective in adolescence. In M. Stolarski, N. Fieulaine & W. van Beek (Eds.), Time perspective theory; review, research and application (pp. 115–129). Springer.Google Scholar
  44. Moksnes, U. K., & Espnes, G. A. (2013). Self-esteem and life satisfaction in adolescents–gender and age as potential moderators. Quality of Life Research, 22, 2921–2928. doi: 10.1007/s11136-013-0427-4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Moksnes, U. K., Løhre, A., & Espnes, G. A. (2013). The association between sense of coherence and life satisfaction in adolescents. Quality of Life Research, 22, 1331–1338. doi: 10.1007/s11136-012-0249-9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Morselli, D. (2013). The olive tree effect: Future time perspective when the future is uncertain. Culture and Psychology, 19, 305–322. doi: 10.1177/1354067X13489319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Muthén, L., & Muthén, B. (2006). Mplus user’s guide. Los Angeles, CA: Muthén and Muthén.Google Scholar
  48. Nickerson, A. B., & Nagle, R. J. (2004). The influence of parent and peer attachments on life satisfaction in middle childhood and early adolescence. Social Indicators Research, 66, 35–60. doi: 10.1023/B:SOCI.0000007496.42095.2c.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Nota, L., Soresi, S., Ferrari, L., & Ginevra, M. C. (2014). Vocational Designing and Career Counseling in Europe. European Psychologist, 19, 248–259. doi: 10.1027/1016-9040/a000189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Pallini, S., Bove, G., & Laghi, F. (2011). Classification of professional values based on motivational content: An exploratory study on Italian adolescents. Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 44, 16–31. doi: 10.1177/0748175610391607.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Park, N., Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2004). Strengths of character and well-being. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 23, 603–619. doi: 10.1521/jscp.23.5.603.50748.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Proctor, C. L., Linley, P. A., & Maltby, J. (2009). Youth life satisfaction: A review of the literature. Journal of Happiness Studies, 10, 583–630. doi: 10.1007/s10902-008-9110-9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Rich, G. J. (2003). The positive psychology of youth and adolescence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 32, 1–3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Saha, R., Huebner, E. S., Hills, K. J., Malone, P. S., & Valois, R. F. (2014). Social coping and life satisfaction in adolescents. Social Indicators Research, 115, 241–252. doi: 10.1007/s11205-012-0217-3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Schwartz, S. J., Waterman, A. S., Vazsonyi, A. T., Zamboanga, B. L., Whitbourne, S. K., Weisskirch, R. S., et al. (2011). The association of well-being with health risk behaviors in college-attending young adults. Applied Developmental Science, 15, 20–36. doi: 10.1080/10888691.2011.538617.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Scott-Lennox, J. A., & Scott-Lennox, R. D. (1995). Sex-race differences in social support and depression in older low-income adults. In R. H. Hoyle (Ed.), Structural equation modeling. Concepts, issues, and applications. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  57. Seijts, G. H. (1998). The importance of future time perspective in theories of work motivation. Journal of Psychology, 132, 154–169. doi: 10.1080/00223989809599156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Simsek, O. F. (2009). Happiness revisited: Ontological well-being as a theory-based construct of subjective well-being. Journal of Happiness Studies, 10, 505–522. doi: 10.1007/s10902-008-9105-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Snyder, C. R. (2002). Hope theory: Rainbows in the mind. Psychological Inquiry, 13, 249–275. doi: 10.1207/S15327965PLI1304_01.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Snyder, C. R., Harris, C., Anderson, J. R., Holleran, S. A., Irving, L. M., Sigmon, S. T., et al. (1991a). The will and the ways: development and validation of an individual-differences measure of hope. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60(4), 570. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.60.4.570.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Snyder, C. R., Irving, L., & Anderson, J. R. (1991b). Hope and health: Measuring the will and the ways. In C. R. Snyder & D. R. Forsyth (Eds.), Handbook of social and clinical psychology: The health perspective (pp. 285–305). Elmsford, NY: Pergamon.Google Scholar
  62. Snyder, C. R., LaPointe, A. B., Jeffrey Crowson, J., & Early, S. (1998). Preferences of high-and low-hope people for self-referential input. Cognition and Emotion, 12(6), 807–823. doi: 10.1080/026999398379448.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Strough, J., Bruine de Bruin, W., Parker, A. M., Lemaster, P., Pichayayothin, N., & Delaney, R. (2016). Hour glass half-full or half-empty? future time perspective and preoccupation with negative events across the life span. Psychology and Aging. doi: 10.1037/pag0000097.Google Scholar
  64. Sun, R. C., & Shek, D. T. (2012). Positive youth development, life satisfaction and problem behaviour among Chinese adolescents in Hong Kong: A replication. Social Indicators Research, 105, 541–559. doi: 10.1007/s11205-011-9786-9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Swain, N. R., Gibb, S. J., Horwood, L., & Fergusson, D. M. (2012). Alcohol and cannabis abuse/dependence symptoms and life satisfaction in young adulthood. Drug and alcohol Review, 31, 327–333. doi: 10.1111/j.1465-3362.2011.00339.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Valle, M. F., Huebner, E. S., & Suldo, S. M. (2004). Further evaluation of the children’s hope scale. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 22, 320–337. doi: 10.1177/073428290402200403.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Valle, M. F., Huebner, E. S., & Suldo, S. M. (2006). An analysis of hope as a psychological strength. Journal of School Psychology, 44, 393–406. doi: 10.1016/j.jsp.2006.03.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Valois, R. F., Paxton, R. J., Zullig, K. J., & Huebner, E. S. (2006). Life satisfaction and violent behaviors among middle school students. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 15, 695–707. doi: 10.1007/s10826-006-9043-z.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Vecchio, G. M., Gerbino, M., Pastorelli, C., Del Bove, G., & Caprara, G. V. (2007). Multi-faceted self-efficacy beliefs as predictors of life satisfaction in late adolescence. Personality and Individual Differences, 43(7), 1807–1818. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2007.05.018.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Walker, T. L., & Tracey, T. J. (2012). The role of future time perspective in career decision-making. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 81, 150–158. doi: 10.1016/j.jvb.2012.06.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Yarcheski, A., & Mahon, N. E. (2014). Meta-analyses of predictors of hope in adolescents. Western Journal of Nursing Research. doi: 10.1177/019394591455954.Google Scholar
  72. Zhang, J. W., & Howell, R. T. (2011). Do time perspectives predict unique variance in life satisfaction beyond personality traits? Personality and Individual Differences, 50, 1261–1266. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2011.02.021.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Zhang, J. W., Howell, R. T., & Stolarski, M. (2013). Comparing three methods to measure a balanced time perspective: The relationship between a balanced time perspective and subjective well-being. Journal of Happiness Studies, 14, 169–184. doi: 10.1007/s10902-012-9322-x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Zimbardo, P. G., & Boyd, J. N. (1999). Putting time in perspective: A valid, reliable individual-differences metric. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77, 1271–1288. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.77.6.1271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Zimbardo, P. G., & Boyd, J. N. (2008). The time paradox. The new psychology of time. New York, NY: Free PressGoogle Scholar
  76. Zimbardo, P. G., Keough, K. A., & Boyd, J. N. (1997). Present time perspective as a predictor of risky driving. Personality and Individual Differences, 23(6), 1007–1023. doi: 10.1016/S0191-8869(97)00113-X.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susanna Pallini
    • 1
  • Michela Milioni
    • 1
    Email author
  • Fiorenzo Laghi
    • 2
  • Giovanni Maria Vecchio
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EducationRoma Tre UniversityRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Developmental and Social PsychologySapienza, University of RomeRomeItaly

Personalised recommendations