Sense of Coherence, Time Perspective and Positive Aging
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.
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