2023 92 SBE

Above and Beyond Personality: Time Perspective and Academic Achievement Among Adolescents

By: Ilke Bayazitli, Betsy Centeno, Sarah Purnell, Jo Nisa Cabilogan, Tiffany Chiem Wong, Juan Argueta Rodriguez, Nada Habash, Daniel Grafil

Department: Psychology

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Zena Mello

Adolescent academic achievement is associated with attainment across the lifespan (Olsson et al., 2012). Hence, it is crucial to identify new factors that promote achievement. Time perspective refers to feelings and thoughts about the past, present, and future and has been theorized to promote academic outcomes (Mello, 2019; Zimbardo & Boyd, 1999). Research has indicated that time perspective and academic outcomes were positively associated (Andre et al., 2019; Mello et al., 2009). However, we do not know if these associations remain after controlling for personality. This line of inquiry is important because some scholars have argued that time perspective is a component of personality (Lennings et al., 1998), whereas other scholars have suggested that they are separate constructs (Kairys & Liniauskaite, 2015). Given the importance of determining the utility of time perspective as an intervention target for promoting academic outcomes among adolescents, this study addressed the following research question: How is time perspective associated with academic achievement among adolescents, while controlling for their personality traits?

Data were collected through cross-sectional self-report surveys. Participants included 791 adolescents (Mage = 15.82 years, SDage = 1.23; 56% female). Two dimensions of time perspective were measured (Mello & Worrell, 2007): time feelings (feelings about time) and time frequency (frequency of thoughts about time). Academic achievement was assessed with grade point average. Personality traits (i.e., agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, extraversion, and openness) were measured with the Adolescent Personality Style Inventory (Lounsbury et al., 2003).

Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted. Overall, results showed that time attitudes and time frequency were associated with academic achievement, above and beyond personality traits. This finding supports the potential utility of time perspective as an intervention target for promoting academic outcomes. Future studies may include more dimensions of time perspective, different academic outcomes, and longitudinal investigations to determine the directionality of associations.