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Getting "stuck" in the future or the past: Relationships between dimensions of time perspective, executive functions, and repetitive negative thinking in anxiety
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2018 (English)In: Psychopathology, ISSN 0254-4962, E-ISSN 1423-033X, Vol. 51, p. 362-370Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

Background/Aim: Anxiety disorders are associated with impairments in several aspects of cognitive processing. In this study we investigated three such aspects, i.e., time perspective, repetitive negative thinking (worry and rumination),and executive functioning, in persons with anxiety disorders compared to healthy controls and examined the influence of negative past and negative future time perspective and executive functioning on worry and rumination.

Method: Thirty-six psychiatric outpatients with anxiety disorders (mean age = 30.83, SD = 11.74; 30 females and 6 males) and 44 healthy controls (mean age = 28.89, SD = 9.54; 24 females and 20 males) completed inventories of time perspective and repetitive negative thinking, and tasks measuring executive functioning (shifting and inhibition).

Results: The groups (patient vs. control) differed significantly on all time perspective dimensions (past, present, and future), with largest effect sizes observed for negative past and negative future. Regression analyses with executive functioning, negative past, and negative future time perspectives as predictors, and worry and rumination as outcomes, showed that negative past time perspective was the best predictor for rumination, whereas negative future time perspective more strongly predicted worry. Executive functioning was not a significant predictor of either worry or rumination.

Conclusions: Individuals with anxiety disorders demonstrated systematic biases in all time perspective dimensions, particularly negative past and negative future time perspective, which was further related to worry and rumination. Thus, interventions targeting temporal focus may be one way of reducing repetitive negative thinking. A major limitation of this study was the use of a cross-section design. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
S. Karger, 2018. Vol. 51, p. 362-370
Keywords [en]
Anxiety, Anxiety disorders, Time perspective, Executive functions, Repetitive negative thinking, Worry, Rumination
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Research subject
Clinical Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-146263DOI: 10.1159/000494882ISI: 000459549500002PubMedID: 30522113OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-146263DiVA, id: diva2:1194535
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 421-2012-650
Note

Originally included in thesis in manuscript form

Available from: 2018-04-03 Created: 2018-04-03 Last updated: 2019-04-15Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Being in balance or stuck in time: exploring facets of time processing in relation to mental health
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Being in balance or stuck in time: exploring facets of time processing in relation to mental health
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Time is central in human functioning and crucial for adaptive behavior. The aim of the current thesis was to investigate aspects of people’s subjective experience of time and their relationship with mental health, specifically anxiety and subjective well-being. Two time concepts were of key interest in the thesis: time estimation, which refers to the ability to estimate time durations; and time perspective, which refers to people’s habitual way of relating to the past, the present, and the future.

 The thesis comprehends four studies. In the first three studies, time perspective and time estimation were investigated in persons with varying degrees of anxiety, ranging from mild symptoms to anxiety disorders. The results of these studies showed that in particular negative past time perspective and negative future time perspective were associated with anxiety. These time perspectives were further strongly associated with the tendency to ruminate and worry. Time estimation did not largely deviate between persons with anxiety and healthy controls, although there was some evidence that subcomponents of anxiety might be differentially related to time estimation. More specifically, state anxiety was moderately related to retrospective time estimation, such that higher levels of state anxiety was associated with judging time intervals in retrospect as longer.

 In the final study of the thesis, balanced time perspective (BTP) was examined in relation to subjective well-being and age. BTP can be described as an optimal way of relating to the past, the present and the future and has been suggested to facilitate mental health and well-being. However, there are several ways to measure BTP, and there are also indications that what constitutes a BTP is not completely age-invariant or equally associated with well-being across age. The fourth study of the thesis thus aimed at examining three methods of measuring BTP, and each methods distinct association with subjective well-being and age were examined. The study was conducted in a population-based sample of older adults (age range 60 – 90 years of old). Results of this study indicated subjective well-being is strongly related to BTP, particularly methods of measuring BTP that incorporates negative future time perspective. However, the strong (and inverse) relationship between negative future time perspective and subjective well-being diminished with increasing age. Instead, and among the oldest participants in the sample (80+ years), fatalistic views of the present had more bearing on subjective well-being.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University, 2018. p. 56
Keywords
Time perspective, Time estimation, Anxiety, Anxiety disorder, Balanced time perspective, Mental health, Subjective well-being
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Clinical Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-146267 (URN)978-91-7601-861-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-04-27, Norra beteendevetarhuset, HS1031, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-04-06 Created: 2018-04-03 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved

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