Sense of Coherence, Time Perspective and Positive Aging
- 243 Downloads
Recent gerontological research has identified the sense of coherence as a crucial resilience factor which develops over time and evolves from experiences across the life-span. Time perspective is the process by which life experiences are assigned to temporal categories which give coherence to these experiences. In the present study, we tested the salutogenic hypothesis that time perspective reflects a psychological resource that shapes the sense of coherence, and that both are important predictors of positive aging as indicated by subjective well-being and psychological health. We examined 210 individuals (60.5% women) at the mean age of 70.4 years using the Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory, a questionnaire measuring five time perspective dimensions and a balanced time perspective. We found that (a) two time perspectives—a lack of concentration on the negative past and a high future orientation—predicted the sense of coherence, and that (b) the sense of coherence was a mediator of the time perspective dimensions–positive aging relationship. An exploratory path analytical model fitted our data well. Furthermore, (c) a balanced time perspective was associated with both the sense of coherence and positive aging, disclosing partial mediation of the sense of coherence. With regards to our analytical model, the sense of coherence and—to a lesser degree—time perspective dimensions and a balanced temporal perspective are important correlates of positive aging. In line with recent salutogenic research, our findings suggest that the sense of coherence represents a higher-order concept which pools psychological resource influences on positive aging.
KeywordsTime perspectives Sense of coherence Well-being Positive aging
We thank Ulrike Plötz and Katharina Piontek for editorial help with the manuscript.
- Antonovsky, A. (1979). Health, stress, and coping. New perspectives on mental and physical well-being. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Antonovsky, A. (1987). Unraveling the mystery of health. How people manage stress and stay well. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Antonovsky, A. (1992). Can attitudes contribute to health? Advances, The Journal of Mind-Body Health, 8(4), 33–49.Google Scholar
- Arbuckle, J. L. (2012). Amos 21 reference guide. Meadville: Amos Development Corporation.Google Scholar
- Baltes, P. B., Mayer, K. U., Helmchen, H., & Steinhagen-Thiessen, E. (1999). The Berlin Aging Study (BASE): Sample, design, and overview of measures. In P. B. Baltes & K. U. Mayer (Eds.), The Berlin Aging Study: Aging from 70 to 100 (pp. 15–55). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- 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). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Diener, E., Oishi, S., & Lucas, R. E. (2009). Subjective well-being: The science of happiness and life satisfaction. In S. J. Lopez & C. R. Snyder (Eds.), Oxford handbook of positive psychology (2nd ed., pp. 187–194)., Oxford library of psychology New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Drageset, J., Nygaard, H. A., Eide, G. E., Bondevik, M., Nortvedt, M. W., & Natvig, G. K. (2008). Sense of coherence as a resource in relation to health-related quality of life among mentally intact nursing home residents—A questionnaire study. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 6, 85. doi: 10.1186/1477-7525-6-85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Gerostat. (2014). Statistisches informations system Gerostat [Gerostat—Statistical Information System]. Retrieved November 19, 2014 from http://www.gerostat.de/.
- Hill, R. D., & Smith, D. J. (2015). Positive aging: At the crossroads of positive psychology and geriatric medicine. In P. A. Lichtenberg, B. T. Mast, B. D. Carpenter, J. Loebach Wetherell, P. A. Lichtenberg, B. T. Mast, et al. (Eds.), APA handbook of clinical geropsychology. Vol. 1: History and status of the field and perspectives on aging (pp. 301–329)., APA handbooks in psychology Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
- Kazakina, E. (1999). Time perspective of older adults: Relationships to attachment style, psychological well-being, and psychological distress. Ann Arbor: ProQuest Information and Learning.Google Scholar
- Kline, R. B. (2011). Principles and practice of structural equation modeling (3rd ed.). New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Lewin, K. (1951). Field theory in the social sciences: Selected theoretical papers. New York: Harper.Google Scholar
- Norekval, T. M., Fridlund, B., Moons, P., Nordrehaug, J. E., Saevareid, H. I., Wentzel-Larsen, T., et al. (2010). Sense of coherence—A determinant of quality of life over time in older female acute myocardial infarction survivors. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 19(5–6), 820–831. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2009.02858.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Schumacher, J., Wilz, G., Gunzelmann, T., & Brähler, E. (2000b). Die Sense of Coherence Scale von Antonovsky. Teststatistische Überprüfung in einer repräsentativen Bevölkerungsstichprobe und Konstruktion einer Kurzskala [Antonovsky’s Sense of Coherence Scale. Test-statistical examination in a representative population sample and construction of a short scale]. Zeitschrift für Psychotherapie, Psychosomatik und Medizinische Psychologie, 50, 472–482.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Wiesmann, U., Dezutter, J., & Hannich, H.-J. (2014). Sense of coherence and pain experience in older age. International Psychogeriatrics, 26(1), 123–133.Google Scholar
- Wiesmann, U., & Hannich, H.-J. (2011b). Salutogenic perspectives on health maintenance: The role of resistance resources and meaningfulness. GeroPsych—The Journal of Gerontopsychology and Geriatric Psychiatry, 24(3), 127–135.Google Scholar
- Wiesmann, U., Rölker, S., Ilg, H., Hirtz, P., & Hannich, H.-J. (2006). Zur Stabilität und Modifizierbarkeit des Kohärenzgefühls aktiver älterer Menschen [On the Stability and Modifiability of the Sense of Coherence in Active Seniors]. Zeitschrift fur Gerontologie und Geriatrie, 39(2), 90–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Zimbardo, P. G. (2012). The time paradox. http://www.thetimeparadox.com/surveys/. Accessed 6 Nov 2012 2014.
- Zimbardo, P. G., & Boyd, J. N. (2008). The time paradox: The new psychology of time that will change your life. New York, NY: Free Press.Google Scholar