The Meaning of Temporal Balance: Does Meaning in Life Mediate the Relationship Between a Balanced Time Perspective and Mental Health?


  • Jeffrey Dean Webster
  • Jonte Vowinckel
  • Xiaodong Ma


The construct of a Balanced Time Perspective (BTP) predicts a variety of indices of mental health and well-being. We argue that one possible intermediate link between BTP and well-being may be an individual’s sense of presence of meaning in life. Participants ranging in age from 19 to 88 years (N = 192) completed two measures of time perspective (Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory [ZTPI] and the modified Balanced Time Perspective Scale [mBTPS]), mental health, personality, and meaning in life. Correlational results showed that a BTP, mental health, and meaning in life were positively interrelated. Hierarchical regression models showed that a BTP (as measured with the mBTPS) explained additional variance in mental health beyond demographic, personality, and ZTPI scores. Mediation analyses showed that meaning served as a significant indirect link between BTP and well-being.