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Personality Traits, Future Time Perspective and Adaptive Behavior in Adolescence

  • Renato Gil Gomes Carvalho (a1) and Rosa Ferreira Novo (a1)


Several studies provide evidence of the importance of future time perspective (FTP) for individual success. However, little research addresses the relationship between FTP and personality traits, particularly if FTP can mediate their influence on behavior. In this study we analyze the mediating of FTP in the influence of personality traits on the way adolescents live their life at school. Sample consisted in 351 students, aged from 14 to 18 years-old, at different schooling levels. Instruments were the Portuguese version of the MMPI-A, particularly the PSY-5 dimensions (Aggressiveness, Psychoticism, Disconstraint, Neuroticism, Introversion), a FTP questionnaire, and a survey on school life, involving several indicators of achievement, social integration, and overall satisfaction. With the exception of Neuroticism, the results show significant mediation effects (p < .001) of FTP on most relationships between PSY-5 dimensions and school life variables. Concerning Disconstraint, FTP mediated its influence on overall satisfaction (β = –.125) and school achievement (β = –.106). In the case of Introversion, significant mediation effects occurred for interpersonal difficulties (β = .099) and participation in extracurricular activities (β = –.085). FTP was also a mediator of Psychoticism influence in overall satisfaction (β = –.094), interpersonal difficulties (β = .057), and behavior problems (β = .037). Finally, FTP mediated the influence of Aggressiveness on overall satisfaction (β = –.061), interpersonal difficulties (β = .040), achievement (β = –.052), and behavior problems (β = .023). Results are discussed considering the importance of FTP in the impact of some personality structural characteristics in students’ school adaptation.


Corresponding author

*Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Renato G. Carvalho. Centro de Investigação em Psicologia. Universidade de Lisboa. Alameda da Universidade. 1649–013. Lisboa (Portugal). Phone: +351–217943655. Fax: +351–217933408. E-mail:


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