Time to flourish: the relationship of temporal perspective to well-being and wisdom across adulthood

Jeffrey Dean Webster, Jeffrey Dean Webster, Ernst Thomas Bohlmeijer, Gerben Johan Westerhof

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)
63 Downloads (Pure)


Objectives: Despite the centrality of time to the aging process, the well-being consequences of different temporal orientations for optimal aging are poorly understood. We investigate one underexamined area of temporal orientation, namely a balanced time perspective, in a large, lifespan sample from the Netherlands. Method: Participants consisted of 512 Dutch adults ranging in age from 17 to 92 years (Mage = 46.46, SD = 21.37), including 186 male and 326 females. Participants completed a measure of balanced time perspective, mental health, and wisdom. Results: Results indicated that a balanced time perspective uniquely predicted both mental health and wisdom even after controlling for demographic, physical health, and personality variables. Younger adults tended to be more future-oriented relative to older adults while older adults tended to be more past-oriented relative to younger adults. Further, both midlife and younger adults were more likely to have a balanced time perspective relative to older adults. Conclusion: A balanced time perspective is associated with higher well-being and wisdom across the adult age span.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1046-1056
Number of pages11
JournalAging & mental health
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • METIS-305760
  • IR-92272


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