Validation of a scale to measure time perspective in an African context
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The aim of this study was to determine the psychometric properties of a shortened version of the Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory (ZTPI) in an African context. This self-report questionnaire, referred to as the Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory -Revised Form (ZTPI-RF) consists of 20 items representing the five subscales of the original scale, namely: Past-Positive, Past-Negative, Present-Hedonistic, Present-Fatalistic and Future. The ZTPI-RF was completed by participants (N=1050) from urban (n=451) and rural (n=599) areas in the North-West Province of South Africa, together with a number of measures of psychological well-being. These scales, which were included for criterion-related validity purposes, were the Affectometer 2 (short version) (Kammann & Flett, 1983), the Satisfaction with Life Scale (Diener, Emmons, Larsen & Griffin, 1985), Sense of Coherence Scale (Antonovsky, 1987, 1993) and the General Health Questionnaire (Goldberg & Hillier, 1979). Results regarding the reliability and construct validity of the ZTPI-RF and its subscales were unsatisfactory. Qualitative data was also obtained, and analyzed by means of direct content analysis to help establish a picture of how time perspective prevails in an African context, and to determine whether time perspective is associated with psychological well-being. Qualitative results showed that participants from an African context were strongly oriented toward the present and that social support played the most prominent role regarding participants' attitude toward the present. It was concluded that the ZTPI-RF is, in its current form, not reliable for the determination of time perspective of individuals from an African context, and that a longitudinal qualitative approach might be best suited to obtain information about the nature and dynamics of time perspective in an African context.
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