Age differences in problem solving strategies : The mediating role of future time perspective

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-43
Journal / PublicationPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


This paper reports results of two studies examining age differences in problem-solving strategies in hypothetical interpersonal scenarios, with perception of future time as a mediator. Three types of problem-solving strategies were examined, namely problem-focused strategies (e.g., active planning), proactive emotion-regulation (e.g., emotional support), and passive emotion-regulation (e.g., avoidance). Each sample consisted of younger (aged 17-24. years) and older Hong Kong Chinese adults (aged 61-94. years). Results showed that older adults tended to use more passive emotion-regulation and less problem-focused strategies and proactive emotion-regulation. Age differences in problem-focused strategies were mediated by perceived future time. These findings advanced the literature by showing that age differences in problem-solving strategies might be partially explained by future time perspective. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Research Area(s)

  • Age, Emotion regulation, Future time perspective, Problem-focused strategies