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Predicting parenting stress

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Predicting parenting stress temporal orientation, hope, and adult attachment style in early Head Start parents
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DeMarie, Andrew K
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English
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x, 109 leaves : ; 28 cm

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Stress (Psychology) ( lcsh )
Parenting -- Psychological aspects ( lcsh )
Attachment behavior ( lcsh )
Attachment behavior ( fast )
Parenting -- Psychological aspects ( fast )
Stress (Psychology) ( fast )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Includes bibliographical references (leaves 96-109).
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Department of Psychology
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by Andrew K. DeMarie.

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|University of Colorado Denver
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Auraria Library
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ocn166268103
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Full Text
PREDICTING PARENTING STRESS: TEMPORAL ORIENTATION, HOPE AND
ADULT ATTACHMENT STYLE IN EARLY HEAD START PARENTS
by
Andrew K. DeMarie
B.A., Gonzaga University, 2001
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Arts
Psychology
2007
f-n *


This thesis for the Master of Arts
degree by
Andrew K. DeMarie
has been approved
by
Date


DeMarie, Andrew K. (M.A., Psychology)
Predicting Parenting Stress: Time Perspective, Hope and Adult Attachment in Early
Head Start Parents
Thesis directed by Senior Instructor Kevin D. Everhart
ABSTRACT
Using a sample of low income parents enrolled in Early Head Start (n = 72), this
study tested the hypothesis that individual differences in future and present temporal
orientation predict perceived parenting stress. Additionally, the relationships between
hope and adult attachment style with temporal orientation were used to clarify the
associations between temporal orientation and parenting stress. Specifically, it was
hypothesized that future orientation, hope, and secure attachment style would be
associated with lower parenting stress. Concurrently, it was predicted that present
orientation, lack of hope, and insecure attachment would be associated with parenting
stress. Results revealed that future orientation was not related to either attachment or
parenting stress. Hope, however, was positively related to future orientation, and
secure attachment; and lack of hope was a significant predictor of parenting stress.
Results also showed that hope fully mediated the well-known relationship between
secure attachment and lowered parenting stress. In addition, present temporal
orientation was a significant predictor of parenting stress, and also significantly


related to insecure adult attachment style. These findings suggest that parenting
stress is affected by psychological resources such as hope and that hope accounts for
the relationship between those with secure attachment and lower perceived parenting
stress. It seems also that parenting stress may create a temporary or sustained
expression of present temporal orientation, possibly limiting ones access to future
temporal orientation. Longitudinal studies with greater sample size, and clearer
operational definitions of temporal orientation and hope, are needed to further explain
this somewhat complex relationship between temporal orientation, hope and
parenting stress.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidates thesis. I recommend
its publication.
Signei
Kevin D. Everhart


DEDICATION
I dedicate this thesis to my best friend Nicole Chang for her support, patience and
understanding while I was writing this. Despite her desire to distract me every step of
the way, her serenity was critical for this works completion.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
I extend my deepest gratitude to my advisor, Kevin Everhart, for his unfaltering
interest and patience with me for these last few years. Thank you, also, to Elizabeth
Allen and Joy Berrenberg for their patience and support over the final few weeks of
completion. Special thanks to the staff, parents, and families of the Early Head Start
centers utilized for this study for their participation and interest in my work. Thank
you also to Jay Winstead and Nicole Chang whose editing I have greatly valued.
Finally, I would like to thank both the faculty and my fellow students at the
University of Colorado at Denver psychology department for their investment in my
education.


CONTENTS
Figures..................................................................ix
Tables...................................................................x
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION....................................................1
2. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE........................................5
Parenting Stress............................................5
Temporal Orientation........................................9
Past Temporal Orientation............................13
Present Temporal Orientation.........................14
Future Temporal Orientation..........................16
Temporal Orientation Development and Attachment Development...20
Temporal Orientation, Stress, and Coping...................31
Past Temporal Orientation, Stress, and Coping........31
Present Temporal Orientation, Stress, and Coping.....32
Future Temporal Orientation, Stress, and Coping......34
Early Head Start and the Current Study.....................35
3. METHODS........................................................41
Design.....................................................41
Participants...............................................41
Vll


Procedure................................................44
Measures.................................................45
Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory................45
Trait Hope Scale...................................48
Adult Attachment Questionnaire.....................50
Parenting Stress Index-Short Form..................52
4. RESULTS.....................................................55
Reliability of Measures..................................55
Descriptive Statistics...................................57
Correlational Analyses...................................60
Regression Analyses......................................63
5. DISCUSSION..................................................67
Limitations..............................................67
Conclusions..............................................70
Supplementary Findings.............................85
Future Considerations....................................86
APPENDIXES
A. GOAL SETTING THEORY.........................................89
B. TEMPORAL ORIENTATION MEASUREMENT............................91
REFERENCES............................................................96
vm


LIST OF FIGURES
Figure
2.1 Proposed Intergenerational Attachment Development.........................27
2.2 Intergenerational Development of Attachment
and Temporal Development..........................................30
2.3 Future Temporal Orientation and Related Constructs........................39
2.4 Present Temporal Orientation and Related Constructs.......................40
5.1 Correlational Model of Inter-Variable Relationships:
Future Orientation................................................72
5.2 Correlational Model of Inter-Variable Relationships:
Present Orientation...............................................77
IX


LIST OF TABLES
Table
3.1 Demographic Statistics.................................................43
4.1 Internal Consistency for All Measures..................................56
4.2 Descriptive Statistics.................................................59
4.3 Variable Correlations Matrix...........................................62
4.4 Summary of Hierarchical Multiple Regression Analysis
for Variables Predicting Parenting Stress.......................65
x


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
Since 1995, Early Head Start (EHS) has been delivering services to low-
income families with infants and toddlers in the USA, accompanying the already
successful Head Start Program. Several studies [conducted both independently and
by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF)] have validated the
implementation and services used by EHS (ACF, 2002a; ACF, 2002b). Early Head
Starts mission is threefold: promote healthy prenatal outcomes, enhance
development of infants and toddlers, and promote healthy family functioning. To
achieve these goals, Early Head Start focuses on increasing parent awareness and
knowledge of child development, and enhancing parenting skills to promote healthy
development. This focus on parent education and engagement helps to create
healthier families by decreasing parenting stress, dependence on others, and parents
use of physical discipline (ACF, 2002a). In addition, relationship quality, support
seeking, and parental attachment style all have inverse relationships with parenting
stress (e.g. Abidin, 1990; Myers & Vetere, 2002; Simpson, Rholes, & Phillips, 1996).
There appear to be multiple factors that contribute to parents perceived
psychosocial stress. Belsky (1984) proposed a framework of 3 contributing factors to
parenting stress: (1) parent personality and psychological resources, (2) child
1


characteristics, and (3) psychosocial sources of stress and environmental support.
EHS provides an integrated services platform to address psychosocial variables, those
of child development, and parent education (Code of Federal Regulations, 2005).
However, despite its focus on parent education EHS does not specifically address the
psychological diatheses which may be at the root of perceived parenting role stress.
Consequently, Conroy and Marks (2003) found that parental psychological
vulnerability contributes more than either life adversity or deprivation to negative
affect in the parenting role, decreased maternal responsiveness, and lower levels of
child-centered parenting. Furthermore, Bakermans-Kranenburg, van IJzendoom, &
Kroonenberg (2004) found that maternal sensitivity toward their infants partially
mediates the relationship between low socioeconomic status (SES) and insecure
infant attachment. In other words, while lower income predicts lower levels of
childhood secure attachment, the mothers sensitivity plays an important role and
buffers against the effects of low SES. The same study also found that maternal age
fully mediates the relationship between low SES and attachment, suggesting that
maternal maturity may have a large impact on the parent/infant relationship
(Bakermans-Kranenburg, et al., 2004). These studies show that maternal personality
is a prominent factor in not only parenting ability and affect, but also that it
contributes significantly to emotional outcomes for infants. Thus, in order to further
2


EHS intervention efficacy, it seems critical to understand what factors contribute to
parenting stress.
Recent literature has begun to link temporal orientation with consistent
individual differences in coping with acute trauma and childhood stress (Holman &
Silver, 1998; 2005). Temporal orientation is the extent to which a person accesses
and categorizes experience in reference to the past, present, and/or future. Research
points to future orientation as most adaptive for coping, whereas present and past
orientations vary in their ability to mediate stress (e.g. Holman & Silver, 1998;
Holman & Silver 2005; Mischel, Peake & Shoda, 1988). Future orientation is
positively related to hope, whereas hopes relationship to past and present orientations
remains somewhat unclear (Michael & Snyder, 2005; Snyder, 1994). Interestingly,
temporal orientation is also linked to adult attachment style, as present and past
orientations are associated with less secure attachment (Chisholm, 1999). Chisholm
(1999) also found preliminary evidence for correlations between future orientation (in
the form of lifespan expectancy) and secure attachment. It is known that increases in
anxious and avoidant/ambivalent attachment are related to increases in parenting
stress (Simpson, et al., 1996), which provides evidence for possible links between
temporal orientation and stress. Thus, while no research has currently linked
temporal orientation to parenting stress; temporal orientation is related to coping style
3


and attachment style in mediating some kinds of stress, which suggests a relationship
between temporal orientation and parenting stress (Holman & Silver, 1998; 2005).
The present study examines the link between temporal orientation, hope, and
attachment style in predicting the parenting stress reported by parents enrolled in EHS
in a major metropolitan area in the Western United States. This study was conducted
using archival data collected by Everhart (Everhart, Emde & DeMarie, 2006) for a
different study. What follows provides a basic review of research on parenting stress
and on current temporal orientation theory. Together, this research reveals
associations between temporal orientation, hope, stress, and coping. Concurrently, a
discussion of attachment theory reveals the impact of attachment style on coping
ability and styles. Finally, a comprehensive discussion of temporal orientation, hope,
attachment style, stress, and coping indicates a few logical conclusions for EHS
parents. It is hypothesized that parents with a future temporal orientation will report
higher levels of hope, more secure attachment and less perceived parenting stress;
whereas parents with a present temporal orientation will report lower levels of hope,
less secure attachment and more parenting stress.
4


CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
Parenting Stress
Parenting stress is defined as the perceived effect of psychological stressors
experienced in, or associated with the parenting role (Abidin, 1990). Abidin (1990)
identified a score of factors contributing to parenting stress ranging from parenting
competence to the childs characteristics. In fact, both child behavior and functional
parenting behavior (which are positively related to each other) are inversely related to
parenting stress (Abidin, 1990). In other words, there seems to be a triadic
relationship between adaptive parenting behavior, positive child behavior, and lower
levels of parenting stress. Parenting stress also varies as a function of age and
education, with adolescent mothers, and mothers who had not graduated from high
school showing significantly higher levels of parenting stress (Larson, 2004; ACF,
2000b). In a normative sample of mostly Caucasian participants, Abidin (1990)
found that fathers report less parenting stress than mothers especially stress related to
child characteristics. Whether this finding is the result of defensive responding, an
actual decrease in stress, or some unknown factor, it remains largely unexamined and
unexplained.
5


Discovering factors that are related to or predict parenting stress is
fundamental to the health and well-being of children and their parents because of the
myriad of negative psychosocial and health risks related to parenting stress (see
Larson, 2004; McKelvey, Fitzgerald, Schifman & von Eye (2002), for review). For
example, mothers experiencing significant stress and depression may be unprepared
to handle behaviors that result from their toddlers emerging initiative [and]
consequently...may employ inappropriate discipline strategies (pg 148, Coyl,
Roggman & Newland, 2002). In addition, parenting stress is correlated with
increased economic strain (Chan, 1994; Coyl, et al., 2002) and is higher in abusive
mothers (Chan, 1994). Several studies show that parenting stress is avoided by
having protective factors such as functional parenting frameworks, adaptive parent
belief systems and improved child behavior (e.g. Abidin, 1990; Abidin 1992; Belsky
1984; Ostberg & Hagekull, 2000). Raikes and Thompson (2005) indicate that the
effects of parenting stress are mediated by psychological resources such as social
support and self-efficacy. It is also interesting to note those with an internal locus of
control report less perceived stress and lower levels of cortisol activation (Abidin,
1990; Bollini, Walker, Hamann & Kestler, 2004). Those with internal locus of
control believe that behavioral reinforcement is contingent on internal causality
(Rotter, 1966), possibly equipping them with an ability to accurately predict &
control for the source of the stress. Indeed, those with an external locus of control
6


report higher levels of stress (Gadzella, 1994); higher levels of parenting stress, less
satisfaction in the parenting role (Mouton & Tuma, 1988); and lower self efficacy,
incompetence, and frustration as parents (Campis, Lyman & Prentice-Dunn, 1986).
Regarding child characteristics and behavior, parenting stress has been shown
to vary according to a number of child physical and mental health related problems
ranging from mental and physical disabilities, increased hospital visits, and number of
childs illnesses; to hyperactivity, and conduct problems (e.g. Abidin, 1990; Pearson
& Chan, 1993). However, maternal affect and enjoyment of parenting role
significantly relates to a childs obedience or resistance to discipline and vice versa
(Kochanska, Kuczynski & Radke-Yarrow, 1989). That is, obedient, non-resistant
children allow for positive affect and enjoyment for mothers. The more enjoyment
and positive affect the mother has, the more likely it is that her child will be obedient
and non-resistant. This reciprocal relationship between parental affect and child
behavior highlights the importance of discovering parent characteritics that may serve
as a buffer for adaptive childhood behavioral development.
This study is interested, in part, in parental attachment style; known to
influence both parenting stress and stress, in general (Abidin, 1990; Myers & Vetere,
2002; Simpson, et al., 1996). Bowlby (1969) postulated that parental adult
attachment style is an intrinsic determinant of ones performance and affect toward
the parenting role. Interestingly, researchers (van IJzendoom, Goldberg,
7


Kroonenberg & Fenkel, 1992) found that mothers with mental problems play a larger
role than their childs temperament in determining attachment style; whereas maternal
personality and child temperament contribute equally in normal mothers. Ipsa, Fine,
and Thronburg (2002) found that in conditions of high stress, maternal personality
was a primary determinant of type and intensity of parenting style; whereas it was
less of a factor in low stress situation. In addition, Myers and Vetere (2002)
identified adults with secure attachment (as opposed to anxious/ambivalent or
avoidant attachment) as having more coping resources to deal with life stress. In
contrast, adults with nonsecure attachment security typically showed less
psychological and economic resources, indicating greater vulnerability towards stress
(Hill, Young, & Nord, 1994; Koopman, et al., 2000; van IJzendoom, et al., 1992).
Similarly, avoidant and preoccupied (highly anxious) attachment styles are more
likely to report high degrees of stress, and are at greater risk of developing PTSD than
securely attached individuals (Declercq & Willemsen, 2006). Similarly, attachment
style has been shown to differentiate between those prone (or not prone) to develop
PTSD after exposure to a traumatic incident (Declercq & Palmans, 2006).
In addition, those with anxious and avoidant attachments display less adaptive
coping styles when dealing with relationship problems (Simpson, et. al, 1996). As
such, several studies show that parenting stress is negatively correlated to relationship
quality between parents (see Abidin, 1990 for review). Additionally, Larson (2004)
8


identified that parenting stress in adolescent mothers is best predicted by conflicts in
parenting values between parents, and violence between partners. Consequently,
parenting stress is affected by the level of social support one has available (a function
of adult attachment style) (e.g. Abidin, 1990; Ostberg & Hageskull, 2000; Simpson,
et. al, 1996). These studies together indicate the importance of parental attachment in
relationships as a determinant in the amount of experienced parenting stress. While
parent attachment style is correlated with parenting stress, research has turned to
other parental personality constructs to discover new links. This study begins to
explain the relationship between temporal orientation and parenting stress.
Temporal Orientation
Temporal orientation (TO) is defined as the process by which, the continual
flows of personal and social experiences are assigned to temporal categories...that
help to give order, coherence, and meaning to those events (p. 1271, Zimbardo &
Boyd, 1999)1. In one sense, temporal orientation is the process by which humans
categorize their experiences as fitting into the past, present, or future. Additionally,
temporal orientation also taps into the phenomenon of filters associated with ones
1 Nuttin (1985) distinguishes between time perspective (another commonly used label for this
phenomenon) and temporal orientation. Time perspective encompasses human behavior in a more
global relationship to time; whereas, temporal orientation is the more specific behavior linked with a
specific time frame (e.g. present, past, or future). Despite Nuttins distinction, the current review uses
the term temporal orientation (e.g. future orientation) in order to stay consistent with others research.
9


experience of time; filters which render continuity and meaning of ones personal
experience (Boyd & Zimbardo, 2005; Epel, Bandura & Zimbardo, 1999; Holman &
Silver, 1998). That is, people define their experience by whether the past, present, or
future is most salient in their cognition. Temporal orientation also serves in the
coding, storing, and recall of experience into memory (Zaleski, 1994). Finally, one
accesses his/her goals, imagined and expected futures, and memories of the past
through these cognitive filters (Boyd & Zimbardo, 2005; Locke & Latham, 2002;
Zaleski, 1994).
Consider a single mother, low in SES, looking for employment just after the
birth of her infant. In one dimension, temporal orientation allows her to take in her
experience of the present and categorize it as such. However, her experience of the
present is also determined by the degree to which the past or future is salient in her
cognition. That is, while her past has been lacking in economic and relationship
security, her thoughts of the future are dominated with concerns of providing for
herself and her infant, in addition to possible thoughts of breaking out of poverty and
attaining a relationship. Given this, her experience of the present is affected by
thoughts of her adverse past, her hopes for the future, and her current abilities (in
relation to addressing present economic and personal demands). All of these
cognitions filter her experience of looking for employment, being poor, and being a
single mother. Thus, it seems that we define our experience through a temporal
10


framework; that of past, present, or future. Consequently, a key aspect of human
cognition is the seamless integration of these three temporal frameworks into a
working temporal orientation, a process fundamental to identity formation (Gonzales
& Zimbardo, 1985; Nurmi, 1991; Nuttin & Lens, 1985).
Lewin (1951) suggested that times influence on behavior is broad; claiming
that morale, motivation, and both occupational and military performance all hinged
on a persons concepts of realism in the face of time. In the past two decades
temporal orientation research has revealed a greater impact on psychological
processes than previously believed (Carstensen, Isaacowitz & Charles, 1999;
Roeckelin, 2000; Strathman & Joireman, 2005, Zaleski, 1994). It is now known that
temporal orientation affects or is related to a wide range of variables including:
academic performance (e.g. DeVoder & Lens, 1982; Kauffman & Hussman, 2004;
Mischel, et al., 1988; Phalet, Andriessen & Lens, 2004), anxiety (Zaleski, 1994;
Zaleski, 2005), coping style (Holman & Silver, 1998; Holman & Silver, 2005;
Mischel, et al, 1988), consumer behavior (Homik & Zakay, 1996; Zaleski, 1994),
drug and alcohol use (Keough, Zimbardo, & Boyd, 1999), HIV risk factors (Rothspan
& Read, 1996), motivation (Locke & Latham, 1990; Locke & Latham, 2002, Nuttin,
1985), participation in obligatory research (Harber, Zimbardo & Boyd, 2003), risky
driving (Zimbardo, Keough & Boyd, 1997), sleep problems, (Vranesh, Madrid,
Bautista, Ching, & Hicks, 1999), self efficacy (Epel, et al., 1999), and ones
11


experience of stress (Holman & Silver, 1998; Holman & Silver, 2005) among other
constructs (For a review of temporal orientation research please see Zimbardo &
Boyd, 1999, Roeckelin, 2000; Strathman & Joireman, 2005).
The construct of temporal orientation is acquired through socialization
(Gonzales and Zimbardo, 1985; Levine, 1997; McGrath 1988; McGrath & Kelly,
1986). Consequently, social class, culture, education, religion, family orientation,
and occupation all may play a role in its development (Levine, 1997; Lewin, 1951).
Each person is able to access all three orientations to some extent, depending on what
is needed in the moment (Boniwell & Zimbardo, 2003; Epel, et al., 1999; Gonzales &
Zimbardo, 1985; Kamiol & Ross, 1996; Zimbardo 2002). Most individuals blend
past, present, and future orientations according to the demands of the situation
(Zimbardo & Boyd, 1999). Excessive bias toward one orientation, however, can limit
an individuals functioning (Boniwell & Zimbardo, 2003). Zimbardo and Boyd
(1999) explain the theoretical process by which temporal bias becomes a stable
dispositional characteristic as a function of chronic over-reliance on one or two
temporal orientations. In the example of the single mother, living in poverty; if she is
consumed by her troubled past and overwhelmed by the present situation and the
possibilities of her future, it is possible that she will live in the past; thus
contributing to the development of past orientation. This over-use of specific
cognitive filters toward past, present, or future (or some combination, thereof)
12


translates into ones temporal orientation, each orientation gleaning consistent
behavioral consequences.
Past Temporal Orientation
Unfortunately, research has largely ignored past temporal orientation in
favor of present and future orientations. One explanation of the paucity of research
on past temporal orientation is that it is difficult to determine whether affect
associated with ones memories contributes to present affective states, or vice versa.
That is, it is possible that present affect influences ones emotions associated with
recall. Researchers have reached a few conclusions concerning past temporal
orientation, however. Those motivated most by past temporal orientation (or past
orientation) rely on memory of past experience to guide and frame present cognitive,
affective, and behavioral experience; relying also on the past to temper projections
into the future (Zimbardo & Boyd, 1999). The past relates to both the present and the
imagined future as reciprocal motivators (Kamiol & Ross, 1996). For example, a
person with alcohol dependency, in remission, uses the negative memories of the past
to remain abstinent now and in the future. Indeed, several studies reveal that
emotional experience of recalling the past strongly influences present behavioral
consequences (See Strathman & Joireman, 2005). Zimbardo and Boyd (1999)
studied a series of relationships of the affective component of the past, and found that
13


aggression, depression, and levels of anxiety in the present, was associated to
negative affect attached to the past. Furthermore, positive affect about the past is
directly correlated with increased consideration of future consequences, emotional
stability, self-esteem, and impulse control (Zimbardo & Boyd, 1999). In the same
study, they show that increased positive affect about the past predicted increased
energy levels, friendliness, happiness, amount of pleasurable experiences reported,
amount of exercise, and number of friends. Finally, researchers have discovered that
the nature of affect associated with the past fluctuates as a function of ethnicity,
relationship status, and gender (Zimbardo & Boyd, 1999).
Present Temporal Orientation
Similar to past orientation, present temporal orientation (or present
orientation) carries an affective component. However, unlike the past, those with a
predominantly present orientation are more likely to be responsive toward and driven
by immediate situational factors (Wills, Sandy, & Yaeger, 2001). Present orientation
is related to low social class, low motivation, low academic achievement, risk
taking, and increased substance abuse (p. 91, Boyd & Zimbardo, 2005), and tends to
be higher in men (Keough, et al., 1999). Those with present orientation often show
higher levels of depression and aggression (Boyd & Zimbardo, 2005; Zimbardo &
Boyd, 1999). Furthermore, those with present orientation typically have less ego and
14


impulse control, lower levels of emotional stability, and conscientiousness (Boyd &
Zimbardo, 2005; Zimbardo & Boyd, 1999). Present orientation is also consistently
associated with a number of high risk behaviors such as: unsafe sex, and increased
number of sexual partners (Rothspan & Read, 1996); higher self-reported alcohol,
drug and tobacco use in adults and children (Keough, et al., 1999; Wills, et al., 2001);
and increased likelihood of gambling addiction (Hodgins & Engel, 2002). The
tendency for those with present orientation to engage in high risk behaviors is
consistent with a tendency to ignore future consequences (Zimbardo & Boyd, 1999).
Conceptually, present orientation is divided into two forms (primarily based
on affect associated with the present): present-hedonistic orientation, and present-
fatalistic orientation. These two forms share all of the correlations laid out in the
above paragraph, but have some different behavioral consequences. Boyd &
Zimbardo (2005) describe present-hedonistic temporal orientation as having both a
pleasure-seeking component, and apathy toward future gains and costs. Present
hedonistic orientation is associated with preference for inconsistency, increased
novelty and sensation seeking behavior (Zimbardo & Boyd, 1999). In contrast,
present fatalistic orientation reflects hopelessness towards the future and a sense of
resignation in the present (Boyd & Zimbardo, 2005). Subsequently, those with
present fatalistic orientation typically display lower levels of openness, friendliness,
and self-esteem (Zimbardo & Boyd, 1999). Additionally, fatalism is associated with
15


an external locus of control, and increased anxiety, which reflects maladaptative
prediction of future contingency (Gonzales & Zimbardo, 1985; Zimbardo & Boyd,
1999). Bemdsen & Van der Plight (2001) also link uncertainty about the future to a
preference for immediate gratification. In other words, because present fatalistic
orientation decreases ones ability to accurately predict the uncertain future, he/she
tends to attach blame to objects outside of themselves for their actions, which
concurrently increases anxiety. In the context of Early Head Start parents, a
temporary bias towards present fatalistic temporal orientation is possible given the
situational demands of poverty (Epel, et al., 1999) (i.e. the struggle to live from day to
day, and affective uncertainty and anxiety about the future) and the intergenerational
transfer of poverty (e.g. Bartholomae, Fox, & McKenry, 2004). The combination of
present orientation and poverty may severely limit the expectation of success in the
future.
Future Temporal Orientation
Future temporal orientation (or future orientation) encompasses human
behavior that is primarily goal driven, and concerned with attaining positive future
consequences. Future orientation suggests that behavior, thought and affect are
primarily associated with perceived striving, anticipation, and upcoming goals (Boyd
& Zimbardo, 2005; Greene & Debacker, 2004; Jones, 1988; Klinger, 1994; Nuttin,
16


1964)2. Researchers (Boyd & Zimbardo, 2005; Keough, et al, 1997; Zimbardo, et al.,
1997 Wills, et al., 2001) postulate that future orientation is linked with attempts to
plan and monitor ones behavior, to limit negative consequences, and increase
positive consequences. Future orientation is characterized by an increase in an ability
to delay gratification (Strathman, et al., 1994; Chisholm, 1999). As such, awareness
of the future influences motivation, emotion, spontaneity, risk taking, creativity &
problem solving (Gonzales & Zimbardo, 1985; Trommsdorff, 1994).
In general, future orientation increases with age (i.e. more planning and more
goal-seeking) (Gonzales & Zimbardo, 1985; Keough, et al., 1999). In children, high
levels of future orientation are associated with increased perceived control and self
esteem (Wills, et al., 2001). In addition, delay of gratification and increased future
orientation as a child leads to better coping with frustration and stress and improved
academic success (Shoda, Mischel & Peake, 1990; Zimbardo & Boyd, 1999).
Furthermore, future orientation translates from academic success to improved career
development tasks, such as planning ahead, realism and positive affect (Lennings,
1994). Finally, future temporal orientation correlates with increased optimism (
Trommsdorff, 1994; Zimbardo & Boyd, 1999) less risk taking (Chisholm, 1999;
Keough, Zimbardo & Boyd, 1999; Wills, et al., 2001; Rothspan & Read, 1996;
2 Future temporal orientation is intricately linked to goal setting. Please see Appendix A for a more
detailed discussion.
17


Zimbardo, et al., 1997), and improved performance in treatment programs (Lennings,
1996; Klingemann, 2001; Chubbuck, Rider, Owen, Witherspoon, & Witherspoon,
1999). It also seems reasonable to connect future orientation with a greater sense of
contingency prediction in the future, as compared to those with predominantly past or
present orientations. This increased sense of contingency may also coincide with an
internal locus of control.
One major influence on temporal orientation is self efficacy, or ones beliefs
in his/her capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to
produce given attainments (p. 3, Bandura, 1997). Bandura (1986; 1997) posits that
self-efficacy delineates ones anticipation and construction of the future (the self-
regulatory cognitions associated with future orientation). Indeed, studies show that
self efficacy is related to high future orientation and low present orientation (Bandura,
1997; Epel, et al., 1999; Lennings, 2000). In a study of homeless individuals, Epel, et
al. (1999) showed that those with high efficacy (and hence, high future orientation)
spent more time searching for housing and employment (than those with low
efficacy), and had a shorter stay at the homeless shelter. Furthermore, those with
higher efficacy toward positive future outcomes show propensity for increased
agency, commitment, and value toward their goals (Bandura, 1997; Locke & Latham,
1990; Locke & Latham, 2002; Snyder, 2002). Self-efficacy also seems to serve as an
important psychological resource in promoting functional parenting in the face of the
18


deleterious effects of poverty and familial conflict for parents of infants (See Raikes
& Thompson, 2005, for review). Their study showed that self-efficacy moderated the
known effects of low SES on parenting stress, the effects of which are especially
problematic for parents with low self-efficacy.
Integral to efficacy and future temporal orientation is hope. Hope has been
defined as the sum of agency and pathways toward our goals (Snyder, 1994; Snyder,
2002). Agency represents the combination of determination and commitment toward
a current goal, whereas pathways represent the mental representations of sequential
goal-related behavior. Studies show that there are no gender differences in hope, but
there are significant differences across ethnicity (Snyder, 1994). Those high in hope
typically demonstrate more positive social relationships; tend to be more optimistic,
more competitive, and greater risk takers (Snyder, 1994). Furthermore, hope is
associated with more concrete goals, and increased enjoyment of the process of goal
attainment (including all stages of goal creation, attempts, and attainment) (Michael
& Snyder, 2005). Finally, those with hope are better at coping with trauma and
bereavement, have greater perceived problem-solving ability, and have increased
internal locus of control (Snyder, 1994).
Menninger (1959) highlights the inherent emotional component of hope. That
is, those high in hope (because of goal attainment) show positive affect. On the other
hand, negative affect is associated with those low in hope due to perceived or actual
19


goal failings. Indeed, those low in hope show increased depression and anxiety and
show a lack of planning and subsequent action (Snyder, 1994). Combined with the
adaptive cognitive frameworks associated with future temporal orientation,
propensities toward efficacy and hope offer several psychological benefits.
Temporal Orientation Development & Attachment Development
Temporal orientation is learned through socialization (Norton, 1993, Gonzales
& Zimbardo, 1985; Levine, 1997, McGrath, 1988; McGrath & Kelly, 1986), and is
heavily dependent on culture (Levine, 1997; McGrath & Kelly, 1986; McGrath,
1988). The [temporal] orientation that individuals develop early in life depends
chiefly on their socioeconomic class and their personal experiences with its values,
influences and institutions (p. 26, Gonzales & Zimbardo, 1985). Nortons dual
perspective (Norton, et. al, 1978; Norton, 1993) offers that individuals must work in
complex (conscious & unconscious) ways to integrate societys temporal demands
into their immediate familial and community subsystems, which are often in conflict
with the overwhelmingly future orientation of mainstream Western culture (Jones,
1988). Researchers highlight the importance of temporal orientation in everyday
coping, stating that social circumstances that reinforce present orientation (a 3
3 The dual perspective is defined as, the conscious and systematic process of perceiving,
understanding, and comparing simultaneously, the values, attitudes, and behavior of the larger societal
system with those of the clients immediate family and community system (p. 3, Norton, et al., 1978).
20


byproduct of low socioeconomic status) create discrepancies with Western societys
highly future oriented nature (Harper, Zimbardo & Boyd, 2003). Additionally, since
temporal orientation is socialized, one could expect that those with present orientation
are more likely to have children with a present orientation, and the same is true for
past and future orientation.
Additionally, age is a major factor in determining temporal orientation (e.g.
Gonzales & Zimbardo; Zimbardo & Boyd, 1999). It is generally held that present
orientation accompanies childhood, adolescence, and even early adulthood; and that
future orientation doesnt develop until one is forced to cope with the demands of
career and family life (Lennings, Bums & Cooney, 1998). Furthermore, temporal
orientation displays developmental trajectories into adulthood, further ingraining any
temporal bias. One study revealed that higher present temporal orientation in
children is related to negative emotional dimensions such as anger, anxiety, and
depression (Wills, et al., 2001). Along these lines, Snyder (1994) suggests that hope
for the future is linked to secure attachment, as secure attachment requires an
environment in which parents encourage and support goal pursuits, especially by
providing parental support after goal failures. Additionally, Carstensen and
colleagues (Carstensen, et al., 1999), identify that temporal orientation directly relates
to age-related norms for goal-setting. They explain that children pursue emotional
goals (highlighting the emotional components of present orientation), while
21


knowledge-related goals increase throughout adolescence and well into adulthood
(concurrent with the development of future temporal orientation). The pursuit of
emotional goals throughout childhood development highlights the importance of
socio-emotional development consistent with attachment theory (Ainsworth, Blehar,
Waters & Wall, 1978; Bowlby, 1969).
Attachment can be defined as, a bond, tie, or enduring relationship between a
young child and his mother and attachment behaviors through which such a bond first
becomes formed and that later serve to mediate the relationship (p. 17, Ainsworth, et
al., 1978). Subsequently, attachment research has focused on maternal impact on
infant development of coping resources vital to the infants survival (e.g. Ainsworth,
et. al, 1978; Bowlby, 1969). Attachment theory (Ainsworth, et al., 1978; Bowlby,
1969) suggests that, in the face of uncertainty, children develop insecure attachment
to caregivers (resulting in non-adaptive schemas of themselves and others) that
further develop into avoidant, anxious, and non-secure attachment styles as children.
In other words, given overwhelming environmental stressors (including interpersonal
environmental stressors between the caregiver and infant) the infant will develop an
insecure emotional bond with the caregiver, and subsequently maladaptive bonds
with others later in life.
An important consideration in understanding attachment is that of infant
behavior in response to contingency (Watson, 2001), or an infants ability to predict
22


future outcomes from preliminary cues. If a child is uncertain as to whether or not his
needs will be met by his caretaker (i.e. a lack of contingency between his/her
behavior and subsequent environmental response), it is clear that he will be less likely
to accrue emotional attachments to that caregiver. Subsequently, in the face of
uncertainty if the infant has experienced consistent contingency (for example,
between crying and need-fulfillment from the caregiver) it will continue to develop an
emotional attachment to that caregiver to ensure increased proximity to the caregiver
and hence continued need-fulfillment and survival. Rotter (1966) claims that learning
reinforcement contingency (especially in the context of attachment) should result in
the development of internal locus of control. For example, maternal warmth
behaviors such as maternal smiles, maternal positive touch, and maternal gaze
(behaviors often associated with attachment behavior) are associated with child
internal locus of control and the absence of maternal warmth is associated with child
external locus of control (Carton & Carton, 1998). Thus it seems reasonable to posit
that secure attachment between child and caregiver fosters development of
contingency and internal locus of control.
Elaborations on attachment theory posit that individual differences in
childhood attachment translate into avoidant, secure and anxious/ambivalent
attachment styles in adulthood relationships (e.g. Ainsworth, et al., 1978; Bowlby,
1969; Chisholm, 1999; Hazan & Shaver, 1987; Simpson, 1990; Simpson, Rholes &
23


Nelligan, 1992; Simpson, Rholes & Phillips, 1996). It is also known that over-
exposure to stress (both as children and as adults) affects levels of secure attachment
(e.g. Bowlby, 1969; Chisholm, 1999; McKelvey, et al., 2002). Combining these
theories indicates a reciprocal relationship between stress and attachment security in
childhood and adulthood. Indeed, as mentioned above, adults with insecure
attachment security have a greater vulnerability towards stress (e.g. Hill, Young, &
Nord, 1994), and attachment style is an important factor in the subjective experience
of life-stressors (Declercq & Palmans, 2006; Declercq & Willemsen, 2006;
Koopman, et. al., 2000). One study found that current mental representation of
childhood attachment in parents affects child attachment, relatedness to that child,
and occurrence of mental health problems in both parent and child (van IJzendoom &
Bakermans-Kranenberg, 1996). This highlights the problem of transgenerational
transfer of insecure attachment style from parent to child. Indeed, relationship stress,
maternal depression, negative reported parent-infant interactions, and spanking (all
known to be related to parental attachment) lead to insecure attachment in infants
(Coyl, et al., 2002). Furthermore maternal attachment insecurity predict decreased
chances that these mothers will engage in a supportive relationship (Abidin, 1990);
and increased chances of that parent marrying someone with an insecure attachment
(which has been known to exacerbate the effects of increased stress) (van IJzendoom
& Bakermans-Kranenberg, 1996). This combination of factors decreases the
24


likelihood that the child will develop a secure attachment (van IJzendoom &
Bakermans-Kranenberg, 1996). Similarly, chronic stress, despite affecting parenting,
is likely to be transmitted to the child, further increasing his/her likelihood of insecure
attachment.
Attachment between infant and mother represents biological synchronicity
between maternal sensitivity toward her infants phenotypic expression of genetic
cues (Schore, 2002). That is to say, through interaction, there is reciprocal regulation
of emotion, and environmental feedback as to promote affective resonance or the
simultaneous, reciprocal creation of positive emotional states. Subsequently, stress is
deemed as any asynchrony in the mother-infant relationship in terms of infant
autonomic arousal and maternal external sensory stimulation generation (Schore,
2002). Secure attachment allows for optimal development of limbic system (central
nervous system) in regulations and processing of socio-emotional stimuli (Schore,
2002). Further optimal development occurs in the autonomic nervous systems
creation and refinement of somatic responses of infant affect (Schore, 2002). In other
words, in a neurobiological sense, the mother shapes the cognitive development of
infant stress response systems in a very tangible way.
One corollary suggests that with regard to brain development, attachment
experiences directly influence the maturation of the right hemisphere of the brain.
Specifically attachment may influence the development of the orbitoffontal cortex
25


and the subcortical reticular formation, which control functions for survival, stress
response, and emotional regulation (See Schore, 2002, for review). Specifically,
disruption of attachment bonds in infant trauma leads to a regulatory failure,
expressed in an impaired autonomic homeostasis, disturbances in limbic activity, and
hypothalamic and reticular formation dysfunction (Schore, 2002, p. 18). This
negative trajectory in right brain (and brain stem) development appears related to
abnormal development of self-regulatory coping resources increasing vulnerability to
post traumatic stress disorders later in life (Koenen, 2006; Schore, 2002). Thus, it
seems that the right lateralized orbitofrontal cortex carries importance in the
development of coping resources in relation to the relative stress of determining
contingencies of the future. See figure 2.1 for the proposed model of insecure
attachment development across one generation.
26


Figure 2.1 Proposed Intergenerational Attachment Development
27


Lipton, Alvarez & Eichenbaum (1999) have reported preliminary empirical
evidence that the orbitofrontal cortex is involved in predicting contingency. They
showed that in a task of odor-location selectivity, neuronal patterns in the
orbitofrontal cortex of rodents, displayed odor-location specific firing, including
anticipatory neuronal activity (Lipton, et al., 1999). This study showed that rodents
memory recall, from hippocampal regions, combined with olfactory stimulation, is
used by their orbitofrontal cortex to form crossmodal associations between locations
and odors. These findings suggest that the orbitofrontal cortex is responsible for
distinguishing relationships between predictive cues and expected future outcomes,
with help from memory of previous associations. Furthermore, Lipton, et al., (1999)
suggest that the orbitofrontal cortex is central to the, integration of past, present, and
future experiences, enabling adequate performance in behavioral tasks, social
situations, or situations involving survival (p. 356). This learning task in rats,
extrapolated to research on humans reveals that it is possible that the orbitofrontal
cortex is responsible for predicting contingency in humans. As it has been suggested
that contingency is related to temporal orientation, and since it has been suggested
that attachment is regulated by the orbitofrontal cortex (Schore, 2002), it is possible
that attachment and temporal orientation are regulated by the same brain structure,
and are concurrent factors in determining ones stress response.
28


Researchers suggest that just as early childhood stress affects ones socio-
emotional and neurobiological development; it also affects ones development of
temporal orientation (Chisholm, 1999; Zaleski, 1996). Considering attachments
relevance for the developmental trajectory of temporal orientation, Zaleski (1996)
offers that insecurity in early childhood development manifests itself in a greater
sense of adulthood future anxiety. Additionally, Chisholm (1999) purports sequential
relevance between early childhood attachment, and ones adult attachment and adult
temporal orientation, all related to ones experience of childhood stress. Chisholm
(1999) found that adulthood present orientation (both hedonistic and fatalistic)
correlates with both avoidant and anxious/ambivalent attachment styles in adulthood.
Furthermore, secure adult attachment is correlated with increased expected lifespan,
(i.e. perceived longevity) (a function of future orientation) (Chisholm, 1999). As
expected, a shorter expected lifespan is related to increased avoidant and anxious
attachment in adulthood, and higher levels of recalled childhood stress (Chisholm,
1999). Thus it seems that childhood stress is associated with development of insecure
attachment as child and adult, in addition to being associated with ones adulthood
temporal orientation. See figure 2.2 for a proposed model of the interaction between
time perspective development and attachment development, across one generation.
29


Figure 2.2 Intergenerational Development of Attachment and Temporal
Orientation
30


Temporal Orientation, Stress, and Coping
Past Temporal Orientation, Stress, and Coping
Research reveals consistent associations between coping, stress and temporal
orientation. For example, long-term psychological distress is positively related to
past orientation, and negatively related to present and future orientations, in women
who were victims of incest (Holman & Silver, 1998). Similar findings are true of
Vietnam veterans (Holman & Silver, 1998). The same study found that past temporal
orientation is associated with exacerbation of both the length and intensity of distress
following exposure to an acute stressor. Furthermore, overemphasized focus on the
past following acute stress may result in problematic long-term emotional adjustment
(Holman & Silver, 1998). Following exposure to an acute stressor, individuals with
past orientation have difficulty fully experiencing new stimuli; indicative of a
disruption in their ability to assimilate the trauma into their experience, called
temporal disintegration. These symptoms mirror that of Post Traumatic Stress
Disorder (PTSD) (APA, 2000), and it is possible that past negative orientation serves
as an indicator of vulnerability for PTSD. Holman and Silver (1998) also suggest that
rumination in response to traumatic events may create a cycle of negative past
temporal orientation, and negative affect toward the past and present (further focusing
negative affect toward the past). To the extent that people live in the past, their
31


agency towards the future decreases, reinforcing the cycle of rumination (Kamiol &
Ross, 1996).
In contrast, positive past orientation may facilitate ones ability to positively
recode negative events into positive ones. A positive past orientation tends to be
associated with higher levels of happiness, self esteem, and friendliness, along with
lower levels of anxiety (Zimbardo & Boyd, 1999). Furthermore, those with past-
positive orientation demonstrate higher levels of social support seeking behavior,
higher emotional coping, and less social conflict than those low in past-positive
orientation (Boyd & Zimbardo, 2005). These ideas suggest an integration of past,
present and future into a congruent temporal orientation which may facilitate adaptive
coping and well-being.
Present Temporal Orientation, Stress, and Coping
Research on coping styles and reactions to stress of those with a
predominantly present orientation is somewhat ambiguous. Holman and Silver
(1998) explain that, present orientation is adaptive in a crisis situation as it may
enhance coping ability, as they are less likely to ruminate about the trauma.
However, it seems that maintaining a present orientation during or following a
traumatic event may function to suppress thoughts about the disturbing event
(Holman & Silver, 1998). That is, the tendency to focus on the immediate situation is
32


adaptive while the trauma is ongoing; however, it is clear that after the traumatic
stimulus is removed; remaining in a present orientation can limit ones coping
strategies. For example, Boyd & Zimbardo (2005) report that after initial periods of
adaptive coping, individuals with a present-hedonistic orientation tend to show
avoidant coping styles.
In contrast, present fatalistic orientation is characterized by inflexibility in the
face of an uncertain future with an inability to foresee ones ability to change his/her
environment. One factor in this presentation is that those with low self efficacy
project negative cognitive attributions onto their future personal competence and
performance (Bandura, 1997). Similarly, internal locus of control seems to be
intricately related to self-efficacy (Rotter, 1966), and both may play a role in
determining the degree of fatalistic response to circumstance4. Epel and colleagues
(Epel, et al., 1999) show this relationship to be true for homeless people; finding a
significant negative relationship between present orientation and job efficacy.
Furthermore, they found that those with high present orientation show less adaptive
coping skills (i.e. watching television, eating, and passing time). It has also been
shown that those with present fatalistic orientation demonstrate the least adaptive
coping skills and tend to avoid coping with life stressors altogether (Boyd &
4 Some researchers argue that locus of control and self-efficacy are nearly identical antecedents to a
higher order psychological concept, which may explain this similarity (Judge, Erez, Thoresen & Bono,
2002).
33


Zimbardo, 2005). Similarly, increased present orientation in childhood predicts the
use of anger coping (i.e. getting mad/aggressive), versus behavioral coping (i.e. active
problem solving) (Wills, et al., 2001). It is possible that these avoidant coping styles
coexists with high levels of avoidant attachment style. For example, it seems
plausible that those who avoid coping with everyday life stressors would avoid
coping with stress related to the emotional attachment between child and parent, and
in relationships.
Future Temporal Orientation, Stress, and Coping
In contrast to present fatalistic orientation, future orientation is beneficial
when coping with past adversity (Holman & Silver, 1998; Lewin, 1951). In
childhood, delay of gratification has been associated with parent ratings of childrens
ability to cope with stress (Mischel, et al., 1988). Furthermore, future orientation
predicts decreased substance use in children through increased behavioral coping and
decreased anger coping (Wills, et al., 2001). Similarly, links between coping and
temporal orientation exist in adulthood. In a landmark study following the attacks of
9/11/2001, researchers found that in adulthood, future orientation is associated with
long term adjustment after acute trauma and is predictive of an increased use of active
coping in dealing with that stress (Holman & Silver, 2005). In that study, future
orientation correlated significantly with increased positive affect and lower
34


psychological distress following the 9/11 attacks, whereas negative affect toward the
future correlated with increased psychological distress and lower positive affect over
the 3 years post 9/11. Furthermore, future orientation is associated with higher levels
of active and analytic coping styles in response to both controllable and
uncontrollable trauma (Boyd & Zimbardo, 2005).
Additionally, researchers examined the relationship between perceived self-
efficacy and future orientation on the ability of homeless people to fmd/secure
housing and employment (Epel, et al., 1999). Homeless people with future orientation
had shorter duration being homeless, and also needed less time to find housing (Epel,
et al., 1999). It appears as though efficacy and future temporal orientation may work
together to foster cognitive control over potential stressors (Bandura, 1997; Boyd &
Zimbardo, 2005; Epel, et al., 1999; Zaleski, 1994). Thus, future orientation, with its
focus on seeking out positive future consequences and avoiding negative ones, has
major implications for how people cope with stress (Boyd & Zimbardo, 2005).
Early Head Start and the Current Study
Early Head Start parents are clear beneficiaries of such research on individual
differences in factors contributing to stress. EHS serves low income children, and is
committed to providing comprehensive services to promote social, emotional,
35


cognitive/linguistic, and physical development for prenatal infants to age 3. EHS also
serves their parents, through education/awareness about child development, and
through assistance with psychosocial resources. Early Head Start bases its services
on four cornerstones: child development, family development, community building,
and staff development. To that end, services range from early education, home visits,
comprehensive health/mental health care for infants and parents, to parent education,
job skills training, income assistance, and transportation (Early Head Start National
Resource Center, n.d.) The home-based and mixed approach (both home and center-
based treatment) programs employed by Early Head Start are shown to increase
parental self-sufficiency and to reduce parental distress (ACF, 2002b). In turn,
decreased maternal stress corresponds to increased maternal sensitivity to infant cues,
increased responsiveness to infant distress signals and increased fostering of infant
socioemotional growth (McKelvey, et al., 2002).
Typical EHS participants are likely to be at risk for both low socioeconomic
and psychological resources, and high in familial conflict (ACF, 2002b; Raikes &
Thompson, 2005). Given the nature of EHS criterion (income below the poverty line,
and/or a child with physical/mental disabilities), and given that low income is
correlated with parenting stress (e.g.; Ipsa, et al., 2000; McKelvey, et al., 2002;
Raikes & Thompson, 2005), it is reasonable to suggest that EHS participants are
under more chronic stressors than those not enrolled in EHS. Furthermore, given the
36


link between low income and present temporal orientation, it seems logical to
conclude that typical EHS participants would be overly focused on the present, rather
than on the future. However, EHS participants may show a propensity towards future
orientation; as future orientation correlates positively with planning ahead, and better
success in self-improvement training programs (Zaleski, 1994; Chubick, et. al, 1999).
An important consideration for the current sample is that in low SES samples of
adults, secure attachment is underrepresented (i.e. lower than normal distributions
would assume) (van IJzendoom & Bakersmans-Kranenberg, 1996). That is, these
researchers found that dismissive (avoidant) attachment style and unresolved
attachment (ambivalent) were overrepresented in the low SES sample. It is also
known that adult insecure attachment style is positively correlated with increases in
present temporal orientation (Chisholm, 1999).
The present study examines the relationships between temporal orientation,
hope, and attachment in predicting the parenting stress reported by parents enrolled in
Early Head Start. The study tests the following hypotheses concerning EHS
participants:
1. Secure attachment will be positively correlated with future orientation (as
hypothesized by Chisholm, 1999), and negatively associated with parenting
stress.
37


2. Future temporal orientation will be positively correlated with hope and both
will be negatively correlated with parenting stress.
3. Anxious attachment style will be positively correlated with both present
temporal orientation and parenting stress.
4. Avoidant attachment style will be positively correlated with both present
temporal orientation and parenting stress.
5. Present temporal orientation will be negatively correlated with hope, and
positively correlated with parenting stress.
6. Present temporal orientation and future temporal orientation will account for
unique variance in parenting stress after accounting for hope, and attachment
style.
Figures 2.3 and 2.4 show some of the hypothesized relationships between temporal
orientation, hope, attachment, and parenting stress.
38


Note: + indicates a predicted positive correlation, indicates a predicted negative
correlation
Figure 2.3 Future Temporal Orientation and Related Constructs
39


Note: + indicates a predicted positive correlation, indicates a predicted negative
correlation
Figure 2.4 Present Temporal Orientation and Related Constructs
40


CHAPTER 3
METHODS
Design
This study examined individual differences with regard to temporal orientation, hope,
attachment and parenting stress. Values for independent variables such as temporal
orientation, hope, and attachment were obtained from coded scores on self-report
questionnaires. Values for the dependent variable, parenting stress, were also
obtained from a self-reported measure of stress experienced in the parenting role.
Relationships were discerned primarily from correlations and regression analyses.
Regressions will include demographic variables, to the extent possible, due to
limitations in the data. Finally, this study was conducted using archival data collected
by Everhart (Everhart, et al., 2006) and was approved through COMIRB (Colorado
Multiple Institution Review Board).
Participants
72 parents (61 women and 11 men) with at least one infant or toddler
enrolled in Early Head Start participated in this study. Participants were recruited
from two Early Head Start programs in a major metropolitan area in the Western
United States. In order to be included in the study, the participants had to have at
41


least one child enrolled in Early Head Start and be enrolled themselves in the Early
Head Start parent education program. Early Head Start participants are generally at
or below the poverty level and/or have a child with physical or mental disabilities.
Subsequently, families enrolled in EHS tend to reflect under-served and ethnic
minority populations. A small contingent of participants was mono-lingual Spanish
speaking (roughly 15%). The mean age for parents was 28.29 years old (SD = 6.07).
The average age of the child enrolled in the program was 18.96 months old (SD =
12.11 months). A limited number of participants reported gender of child (boys, n =
12, girls, n = 10, missing, n = 50). The average number of months enrolled at EHS
when participating in the study was 8.3, (SD = 10.73). Further demographic data is
available in figure 3.1.
42


Table 3.1 Demographic Statistics
Variable N
Program Site Site 1 43
Site 2 28
Missing 1
Gender Women 61
Men 11
Language Spanish 10
English 62
Single Parent Status Single 23
Non-Single 14
Missing 35
Ethnicity Latino/Latina 23
African American 6
European American 11
Other/Mixed Ethnicity 6
Missing 25
43


Procedure
Participants were recruited from those legal guardians 18 years or older with
at least one infant or toddler enrolled in an Early Head Start program. Each
participant volunteered and gave informed consent to participate in the study to the
researchers directly or through a trained translator (in the case of mono-lingual
Spanish-speaking parents). The participants then completed a series of self report
measures counterbalanced in order of completion. The measures were representative
of a subset of measures from a larger study by Everhart. All participants completed
the measures in a single data-collection session either at an Early Head Start center,
or the participants home with a researcher present to answer questions and/or read
questionnaire items to them. Participants had the option of having the questions read
aloud in cases where literacy was an issue. Monolingual Spanish-speaking parents
completed translated versions of all measures with both a researcher and an
interpreter present. The researchers debriefed all of the participants and each
received $25.00 for completing the battery of measures. All participants had the
option of terminating their participation at any time including cases in which
participation coincided with an experience of distress. Researchers offered
appropriate referrals for participants with potential mental health problems.
44


Measures
Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory1
The Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory (ZTPI) (Epel, Bandura &
Zimbardo, 1999) is the most recent development in the measurement of temporal
orientation stemming from the original Stanford Time Perspective Inventory
(Gonzales & Zimbardo, 1985). The ZTPI is a self-report measure and its use extends
to research examining health behavior, risk taking, motivation, and substance use
behavior (See, Zimbardo & Boyd, 1999 and Boyd & Zimbardo, 2005 for review).
The current version was simplified in both reading level and number of items for use
with participants coping with homelessness while attempting to reenter society (Epel,
et al., 1999). This version of the ZTPI consists of 26 statements, and participants
respond by indicating the degree to which they perceive the statement accurately
describes them. The statements measure the degree to which a persons cognitive
schemas are informed by past, present and future. The questions range from I
believe a persons day should be planned ahead each morning, (Future) to I find
myself daydreaming a lot about better times in my past, (Past) and I feel that its
more important to enjoy what you are doing than to get some required job done on
1 See Appendix B for a brief review of current instruments used to measure temporal orientation.
45


time (Present). Participants respond on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from very
untrue to very true. The ZTPI is scored by assigning 1-5 points superimposed on
the Likert scale such that higher scores reflect increases in either future, or present
time perspective2. Given the archival nature of this study, the use of this abbreviated
version of the ZTPI offers only limited operationalization of temporal orientation
(Epel, et al., 1999). The future time perspective scale on the ZTPI primarily consists
of items tapping into thoughts and actions associated with planning, monitoring and
finding motivation for ones goal attainments (e.g. When I want to get something
done, I first set short-term goals to reach this big future goal). Only a limited
number of items tap into an affective component of the future (e.g. Thinking about
the future is pleasant to me). Thus, the current study offers a narrow
operationalization of future orientation, despite its broad conceptualization in the
literature review.
The present time perspective scale on this version of the ZTPI is also limited
in scope. Unfortunately, the scale is not separated into hedonistic and fatalistic
factors, rather items lack this distinction. In addition some past orientation items are
included in the scale. In the original study (Epel, et al., 1999) factor analysis revealed
that past and present items together accounted for the largest eigenvalues for this
2 For the sake of consistency, I will refer to scores on the Future Time Perspective Scale and the
Present Temporal Orientation Scale as Future Orientation, and Present Orientation, respectively.
46


factor (indicating a greater degree of corresponding respondent variance). This
combined scale was labeled present time perspective in the original study and
analyzed and interpreted as such (see Epel, et al., 1999). The past orientation items in
this scale primarily concern reminiscing with familiar people in familiar places and
do not directly ascertain the existence of or rumination toward traumatic past
experiences (e.g. I enjoy stories about how things used to be in the good old days).
This same scale was used in the current study with similar results and was interpreted
as present orientation, while including the past orientation items. As items were not
clarified as hedonistic or fatalistic present orientation, the present orientation scale is
seemingly operationalized in a generalized fashion in the current study.
Epel and colleagues (Epel, et al., 1999) show that the ZTPI has satisfactory
internal consistency with Chronbachs alphas of .84 and .79 for the future and present
scales, respectively3. Earlier versions of the ZTPI have adequate test-retest
reliabilities ranging from .70-.80 for all scales (Zimbardo & Boyd, 1999). Research
shows that the ZTPI demonstrates sufficient convergent and discriminant validity in
relation to several other psychological factors such as: aggression, depression,
sensation seeking, preference for consistency, coping ability/style, emotional stability,
and self-esteem to name a few (Boyd & Zimbardo, 2005; Epel, Bandura, &
Zimbardo. 1999; Zimbardo & Boyd, 1999). Furthermore, Zimbardo and Boyd (1999)
3 Chronbachs alphas are typically considered sufficient if a > .60 (Cronbach, 1951).
47


report independent external validation related to the scales usefulness in relation to
risk taking, substance use, and the Big Five Questionnaire. Finally, research shows
that the ZTPI has substantial criterion validity on all scales, predicting scores on
variables such as: the Big Five Questionnaire, Consideration of Future Consequences
Scale, self-efficacy, and participation in obligatory research (Epel, et al., 1999;
Harber, et al., 2003; Zimbardo & Boyd, 1999).
Trait Hope Scale
The Trait Hope Scale (THS) (Snyder, et. al, 1991; Snyder, et. al, 1996) is a
self-report measure designed to measure hope at the trait level (as opposed to state-
dependent hope). It is used as a theoretical model and as a clinical measure of hope
in health psychology, geriatric populations, marital therapy, and bereavement therapy
(Bergin & Walsh, 2005; Gum, Snyder, & Duncan, 2006; Michael & Snyder, 2005;
Rye, Folck, Heim, Olszewski, & Triana, 2004; Vemberg, Snyder, & Schuh, 2005).
The THS consists of items that reflect either agency or pathways factors. Agency
reflects the willpower to meet ones goals, whereas pathways-thinking is the ability to
identify clear steps toward meeting those goals (e.g. Snyder, et. al, 1991).
Participants are asked to read test items and rate the extent to which the items apply to
them in their life. They then respond on a 4-point Likert scale ranging from
definitely false to definitely true. Representative items range from statements
48


like, I can think of many ways to get out of a jam (Pathways) to I meet the goals I
set for myself (Agency). There are 12 items on the Trait Hope Scale, 4 filler items
and 4 for each subscale. The items are added to create the Agency and Pathways
subscores, which are then aggregated to form a Total Hope Score ranging from 4-32.
Scores of 24 or higher are considered high hope scores (Snyder, 1994).
Research and development on the THS show acceptable reliability and
validity for both research and clinical use. The scale shows internal consistency at a
= .74-.84 over 8 different samples, one of which was an outpatient stress treatment
center for women in Connecticut (Snyder, et al., 1992). Similarly, the two subscales,
agency and pathways, show alphas at .71-.76, and .63-.8, respectively (Snyder, et al.,
1991). Test-retest reliability shows that over a number or different intervals, the Trait
Hope Scale has good temporal stability. The test-retest correlations for the hope scale
are .85, .73, and .76-.82 for 3, 8, and 10 week intervals (Snyder, et al., 1991).
Furthermore, the factor structure of the THS remains strongly supported generally
accounting for 52-67% of the variance across several samples (Snyder, et al., 1992;
Snyder, et al., 1996). Snyder and colleagues (Snyder, et al., 1991; Snyder, et al.,
1996) have also shown that while agency and pathways are related, they are different
constructs. As for validity, research shows that the Trait Hope Scale demonstrates
strong convergent validity; correlating positively with a number of different measures
of similar constructs such as optimism, self-efficacy; happiness, self-esteem,
49


expectancy for success, and self-control (Abdel-Khalek, 2006; Bryant & Cvengros,
2004; Magaletta & Oliver, 1999; Snyder, et al, 1991; Snyder, et al., 1996). Despite
positive correlations, studies have shown that hope is a distinct construct from
concepts such as optimism and self-efficacy (Bryant & Cvengros, 2004; Magaletta &
Oliver, 1999; respectively). Additionally, the THS correlates negatively with scales
measuring hopelessness, depression, and psychological problems (Snyder, et. al,
1991) . As for predictive validity, the THS has been found to be the strongest
predictor of future depression symptoms in stroke patients when compared to
perceived stroke symptoms, perceived ability to return to previous lifestyle, and
several demographic variables (Gum, et al., 2006). Finally, several studies have
shown the construct validity (conceptualizing hope into agency and pathways
concepts, and other theoretical considerations) of the Trait Hope Scale (Snyder, 2002;
Snyder, 1995; Snyder 1994; Snyder, et al. 1996; Snyder, et. al, 1991).
Adult Attachment Questionnaire
The Adult Attachment Questionnaire (AAQ) (Simpson, 1990; Simpson, et al.,
1992) measures three types of adult attachment: secure, avoidant, and
anxious/ambivalent. This self-report questionnaire asks participants to respond in
agreement or disagreement on a 7-point Likert Scale to statements about themselves
in relation to others. Test items range from, Im comfortable having others depend
50


on me to, Others often are reluctant to get as close as I would like. Items load
consistently on one of two factors: Secure versus Avoidant or Anxious versus
Nonanxious. Both factors are scored by individually coding items such that high
scores reflect either greater security (on the Secure/Avoidant scale) or greater anxiety
(on the Anxious/Nonanxious scale). Both factors demonstrate adequate internal
consistency. The Avoidant/Secure attachment scale, consisting of 8 items, has
Chronbachs alphas of .81 for both men and women, while the anxious attachment
index, consisting of 5 items, has Chronbachs alphas of .58 and .61 for men and
women, respectively (Simpson, et al., 1992). While the internal reliabilities for the
Anxious/Nonanxious scale are considered somewhat low, results may be explained
by the small number of items which comprise the indexes, or low inter-item
correlation.
The development of the AAQ stems from Hazan and Shavers original
questionnaire (1987), which has been modified by several authors (e.g. Simpson, et
al, 1992; Simpson, et. al, 1996; Bartholomew & Horowitz, 1991; Zhang & Labouvie-
vief, 2004). While some (Jacobvitz, Curran & Moller, 2002) highlight the disparate
convergence between attachment interviews and self-report attachment
questionnaires, research has shown good convergent validity within the
questionnaires themselves. Indeed, research reveals similar results on health related
measures when using the Hazan and Shaver questionnaire and the AAQ together
51


(Myers & Vetere, 2002). Additionally, the Relationships Questionnaire
(Bartholomew & Horowitz, 1991) and the AAQ are similar in item content.
The AAQ has adequate predictive validity with avoidant/secure attachment
showing significant interaction effects in support seeking, support giving, womens
reaction to physical touch, and distancing behavior in couples (Simpson et al,. 1992).
Womens score on the anxious/ambivalent attachment index on the AAQ predicts
marital satisfaction of marriage partners, and mothers perceived social support
before and after giving birth to a child (Rholes, Simpson, Cambell & Grich, 2001).
Parenting Stress Index-Short Form
Parenting stress was measured by the Parent Distress Subscale of the
Parenting Stress Index-Short Form (PSI-SF). The Parenting Stress Index-Short Form
is a self-report measure comprised of 36 items which break into 3 subscales of 12
items each. The subscales are Difficult Child Temperament, Dysfunctional Parent-
Child Interaction, and Parent Distress. The Parent Distress Subscale, in both English
and Spanish versions used in this study, taps into stress experienced by parents in
relation to the parenting role. The measure identifies stressors, ranging from
depression, to role restriction, to social isolation, using items rated on a 5-point Likert
scale ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree.
52


Questions on the Parenting Stress Index-Short Form, Distress Subscale range
from, I feel trapped by my responsibilities as a parent, to When I go to a party, I
usually expect not to enjoy myself. Participants are instructed to rate the extent to
which items reflects their opinions. Items remain at or below a 5th grade reading
level. Scoring the PSI-SF Parent Distress Domain consists of assigning fixed
coefficients to each item and summing them for a total parent distress score. All 12
items are reverse-scored to result in higher scores reflecting more amounts of stress.
The original sample on the PSI had internal consistency coefficients for each
subscale, ranging from .62-.7 on the Child subscales and .55-.8 on the Parent
subscales (Abidin, 1990). Overall, Abidin (1990) reported that the Total Stress score
yielded an internal consistency coefficient of .95, while the Parent Domain and Child
Domain were .93 and .89 respectively. For the Spanish translation of the PSI, Solis
(Solis, 1989; Solis & Abidin, 1991) report similar overall alpha coefficients for 223
Latina mothers from New York City. The Total Stress, Parent Domain, and Child
Domain coefficients were .94, .92, and .88 respectively (Solis & Abidin, 1991).
Furthermore, Solis and Abidin (1991) found that internal consistency ranged from
.58-.88 in the Child subscales, and from .58-.94 in the Parent Domain, which were
almost identical to those of the original PSI.
In addition to internal consistency, the scales of the PSI are supported by test
retest reliabilities reported by Abidin (1990). Abidin (1990) administered the PSI
53


twice in the span of three months for thirty mothers seeking consultation for child
behavior from a pediatric clinic. The Pearson correlations between time 1 and time 2
scores were .96 for Total Stress, .91 for Parent Domain, and .63 for the Child Domain
(Abidin, 1990). These scores indicate good stability of scores over time; however,
the lower score on the Child Domain could be attributed to possible changes in child
behavior over time or as a result of consultation received from the clinic.
The PSI has shown strong discriminant validity when distinguishing between
parents with healthy and those with health problems (Abidin, 1997). The PSI has a
wide range of clinical and research screening uses, including measuring stress in
parents of children with psychosocial, health, developmental and behavioral problems
(Abidin, 1997). Specifically, studies examining parenting stress in populations
similar to those in Early Head Start validate the use of the PSI-SF in this study
(Colpin, De Munter, Nys & Vandemeulebroecke, 2000; Ostberg, 1998; Larson, 2004;
Ostberg & Hagekull, 2000).
54


CHAPTER 4
RESULTS
All analyses were conducted using Statistical Package for the Social
Sciences (SPSS version 14 for Windows). Missing data were treated as follows. If a
participant did not answer an item, the item was given the mean score of the other
aggregated items on that subscale, for all four measures. If a participant recorded two
answers for the same question, the participant received the mean score of those two
answers (e.g. Definitely True = 4, Mostly True = 3; Mean Score 3.5). These
processes were used minimally as no questionnaire was missing more than two data
points.
Reliability of Measures
While all of the measures used in this study have been used in other
populations, it is important to first establish reliability for each scale for use in this
sample. For the current sample, the ZTPI showed acceptable Chronbachs alphas of
.71 and .74 for future and present scales respectively1. For the Trait Hope Scale,
Chronbachs alphas ranged from .57-.71 for the subscales. The Adult Attachment
1 Internal consistency for the present scale dropped when past orientation items were removed, though
was still adequate (a = .69). Thus, all analyses were conducted with and without past orientation items
and findings were comparable. Subsequent results for the present scale include present and past
orientation items.
55


Questionnaire had acceptable internal consistency; Avoidant/Secure attachment
index, a = .72, Anxious/Nonanxious attachment index, a .62. Finally, internal
consistency tests for the Parent Distress Subscale on the Parenting Stress Index-Short
Form revealed good reliability (Chronbachs a = .78). A summary of these reliability
findings can be found in Table 4.1.
Table 4.1 Internal Consistency for All Measures
Measure Chronbach's Alpha N
Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory
Future Temporal Orientation .71 72
Present Temporal Orientation .74 72
Trait Hope Scale
Agency .66 70
Pathways .57 70
Total Hope .71 70
Adult Attachment Questionnaire
Avoidant/Secure Index .72 69
Anxious/Nonanxious Index .62 69
Parenting Stress Index-Short Form
Parent Distress Scale .78 58
56


Descriptive Statistics
Results showed that respondents reported mean future orientation score of
3.86 (SD = .42) (within a range from 1-5) which was higher than mean future
orientation scores across 15 samples [M= 3.38, SD .52 (Keough, et al., 1999)].
Participants reported a mean present orientation score of 2.5 (SD = .64) (within a
range of 1-5); comparable to present orientation in a homeless sample [M = 2.6, SD =
.68 (Epel, et al., 1999)]. Results for the present sample show a mean agency score of
3.2 (SD = .47), a mean pathways score of 3.23 (SD = .47) and a total hope mean of
3.22 (SD = .40) (all scales range from 1-4). Because the hope subscales were highly
intercorrelated, the total hope scores were used in all subsequent analyses (See Table
4.3 for results). Summed scores for total hope (range = 8-32) were used to compare
the current sample to norms [scores 24 32 are considered high hope (Snyder,
1994)], and results showed the current sample to have summed scores in the high
hope range [M(summed hope scores) = 25.75, SD = 3.21],
On the attachment indices, summed scores were used to compare
demographic subsets2. There were significant differences on secure attachment with
English-speaking participants scoring higher (M= 35.94, SD = 9.22) than mono-
lingual Spanish-speaking participants (M= 27.16, SD = 9.42) [/ (69) = -2.785,/? <
2 Summed Secure/Avoidant scores ranged from 8-56, and summed Anxious/Nonanxious scores ranged
from 5-35. When comparing demographic subsets, I compared the groups average summed score on
attachment indicies.
57


.01]. Similar results showed that English-speaking participants had less anxious
attachment (M = 14.81, SD = 5.83) than monolingual Spanish-speaking participants
(M= 22.6, SD = 6.15) [/ (69) = 3.89,/? < .01]. Anxious attachment also differed
significantly by EHS center, with site 1 participants rating themselves as less anxious
(M= 13.8, SD = 5.97) than those at site 2 {M= 17.3, SD = 6.57) [/ (68) = -2.27,p <
.05],
Finally, the current sample was relatively low in parenting stress (M= 23.4,
SD = 7.38) (scores range from 12-60), when compared to a national EHS sample [M
= 24.7, SD = not reported (ACF, 2002b)]. However, single parents reported
significantly higher levels of parenting stress (M= 24.95, SD = 5.78) than non single
parents (M= 19.0, SD = 6.31) [t (28) = -2.63,/? < .05]. Table 4.2 shows a summary
of descriptive statistics on each of the variables.
58


Table 4.2 Descriptive Statistics
Variable M SD N
Future Temporal Orientation
Men 3.77 0.37 11
Women 3.95 0.48 61
Overall 3.86 0.42 72
Present Temporal Orientation
Men 2.57 0.56 11
Women 2.49 0.65 61
Overall 2.5 0.64 72
Hope3
Agency 3.2 0.47 70
Pathways 3.23 0.47 70
Total Hope 3.22 0.4 70
Attachment6 Secure/Avoidant
Spanish-Speaking 27.16 9.42 10
English-Speaking 35.94 9.22 59
Anxious/Nonanxious
Spanish-Speaking 22.6 6.15 10
English-Speaking 14.81 5.83 59
Parenting Stress0 23.4 7.38 58
a missing two responses,6 missing three: responses,
c missing 14 responses
59


Correlational Analyses
Before discussing the relevant hypotheses, the results revealed one interesting
correlation regarding maternal age. While maternal age has been found as a mediator
between low income and parenting stress (Bakermans-Kranenburg, et al., 2004),
results failed to show a significant relationship between maternal age and parenting
stress (r = -.115, p = .559, ns, n = 28) in this low income sample.
The first hypothesis stated that secure attachment would be positively
correlated with future temporal orientation and negatively correlated with parenting
stress. The first part of the results revealed a non-significant relationship between
secure attachment and future orientation (r = .152, p .103, ns). Results revealed
that secure attachment was negatively correlated with parenting stress, as predicted (r
= -.287, p < .05). The second hypothesis stated that future temporal orientation would
be positively correlated with hope, and that both variables would be negatively
correlated with parenting stress. Results revealed a significant positive relationship
between future orientation and hope (r = 212, p < .05). While results indicated a
highly significant negative relationship between hope and parenting stress (r = -.434,
p < .001), the relationship between future orientation and parenting stress was non-
significant (r = .015, p = .455, ns).
The third hypothesis stated that anxious attachment would be positively
correlated with both present temporal orientation and parenting stress. Anxious
60


attachment was found to be positively related to present temporal orientation (r =
244, p < .05), and results showed a significant relationship between anxious
attachment style and parenting stress (r = .235,/? < .05), supporting the third
hypothesis. The fourth hypothesis stated that avoidant attachment style would be
positively related to both present orientation and parenting stress. Results found that
both relationships were significantly correlated. Avoidant attachment was related to
present orientation (r = .248,/? < .05), and parenting stress (r = .287,/? < .05).
The fifth hypothesis stated that present temporal orientation would be
negatively correlated with hope, and positively correlated with parenting stress.
Results showed no support for the first part of this hypothesis, revealing no
relationship between present orientation and hope (r = -.075,/? = .270, ns). Results
showed the relationship between present orientation and parenting stress to be
significant (r = .420,/? < .01).
61


Table 4.3 Variable Correlations Matrix
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1. FTP -.052 .235* .229* .272* .152 -.060 .015
Sig. (1-tailed) .331 .025 .029 .011 .103 .310 .445
N 72 70 70 70 71 71 58
2. PTP -.088 -.039 -.075 -.248* .244* .420**
Sig. (1-tailed) .235 .373 .270 .018 .020 .001
N 70 70 70 71 71 58
3. Agency .449*** .850*** .102 -.198 -.410**
Sig. (1-tailed) .000 .000 .201 .052 .001
N 70 70 69 69 56
4. Pathways .852*** .400*** -.167 -.337**
Sig. (1-tailed) .000 .000 .085 .005
N 70 69 69 56
5. Total Hope .296** -.214* -.434***
Sig. (1-tailed) .007 .038 .000
N 69 69 56
6. Secure -.381** -.287*
Sig. (1-tailed) .001 .014
N 71 58
7. Anxious .235*
Sig. (1-tailed) .038
N 58
8. Parent, Stx.
Sig. (1-tailed)
Note: Parent. Stx. is an abbreviation for parenting stress.
*p< .05, **p< .01, ***p < .001
62


Regression Analyses
In order to clarify hypotheses one through five, and address hypothesis six,
multivariate analyses were needed. A hierarchical multiple regression was used to
account for the hypothesized unique variance of parenting stress that future temporal
orientation and present temporal orientation would have, and to address the ability of
all variables as predictors of parenting stress. Thus, the two attachment indices were
entered into the model in the first step, followed by hope in the second step, and
present and future temporal orientation in the third step3.
The three different steps showed significant differing levels of significance as
each variable was added (See Table 4.4). In the first step, the two attachment indices
were not significant predictors of parenting stress, but the model approached
significance [F (2, 52) = 2.91,p = .06, ns\. In the second step, hope was added to the
model, and was found to be a significant predictor of parenting stress. When hope
was added as a predictor, results showed a significant R2 change [R2 A = .118 (p <
.01) for Step 2, df= (3, 52)]. The overall model in the second step was significant [F
(3,52) = 4.852,p< .01], but only hope had a significant coefficient (|3 = -.368,p<
.01). Finally, in the third step, when present and future temporal orientations were
added, the results yielded yet another significant R change [R A = .169 ip < .01) for
3 Future temporal orientation was included in regression analyses despite lacking a bivariate
relationship with parenting stress.
63


Step 3, df= (5, 50)], and an overall significant model [F (5, 50) = 6.335,p < .001). In
the final model, results yielded that present temporal orientation (P = .400, p < .01)
and hope (p = -.378,/? < .01) were the only significant predictors of parenting stress,
combining to account for 32.7% (ADJ R2 = .327) of the overall variance (Despite the
use of R2 as a measure for change between models, the final overall variance was
calculated using the adjusted R2 since R2 is known to be an overestimate of unique
variance for each independent variable [Howell, 2004]).
64


Table 4.4 Summary of Hierarchical Multiple Regression Analysis for Variables
Predicting Parenting Stress (N=56)
Variable B SEB P
Step 1
Secure Attachment Style -.170 .099 -.239
Anxious Attachment Style 1.63 .16 .141
Step 2
Secure Attachment Style -.092 .097 -.130
Anxious Attachment Style .112 .152 .097
Hope m 00 .297 -.368* **
Step 3
Secure Attachment Style -.060 .089 -.084
Anxious Attachment Style -.002 .141 -.002
Hope -1.008 .296 -.445**
Future Temporal Orientation .24 .139 .215
Present Temporal Orientation .344 .113 .356**
Note: R2 A = .06 (p = .06, ns) for Step 1, df= (2, 53); R1 A = .118 (p < .01) for Step 2,
#= (3, 52); R2 A = .169 (p < .01) for Step 3, df= (5, 50).
** p<. 01
65


In order to clarify the relationship between secure attachment style and
parenting stress, a mediational model with hope as the mediator was created. Baron
and Kenny (1986) report four criterion for a variable to be considered a mediator: a)
secure attachment (predictor) significantly predicts hope (mediator), b) secure
attachment significantly predicts parenting stress (outcome), c) hope significantly
predicts parenting stress, and d) once hope is added to the equation, the prediction
between secure attachment and parenting stress is no longer significant. Step 1
showed that secure attachment was associated with hope (r = .339, p > .01, N = 56)4.
For Step 2, secure attachment was also related to parenting stress (r = -.288,/? > .05,
N = 56). Hope was also significantly related to parenting stress (Step 3) (r = -.434, p
> .001, TV = 56). Last, in order to accomplish Step 4, a hierarchical regression
analysis was conducted in which secure attachment was entered first and hope second
as predictors of parenting stress. The regression weight between secure attachment
and parenting stress dropped from /? = -.288 (p > .05), to /? = -. 16 (p = .224, ns), after
controlling for hope. The prediction of parenting stress from hope dropped, but
remained significant (fi = -.379, p> .01). Thus, it seems that hope fully mediated the
relationship between secure attachment and parenting stress in the current sample.
4 Inconsistencies in reported correlations are due to differences in sample size between variables.
66


CHAPTER 5
DISCUSSION
Limitations
One of the main limitations in the study is the sample size. Limitations in
sample size usually mean decreased statistical power compared to larger samples
(Howell, 2004). In addition, sample size may impact the variance of certain
variables. Narrow ranges on variables such as future orientation, hope, and parenting
stress offered limited insights into the relationships discussed in this study. In
addition, the small sample size impacted the collection and distribution of
demographic variables (especially given the need to control for certain variables in
multiple regression). Indeed, missing demographic data limited the ability to include
these variables in statistical analyses. Clearly, ideal conditions would render a more
balanced sample in regards to age, gender, language, and ethnicity. In addition,
missing data (typically due to exclusion of measures in earlier administrations)
proved to give only a limited picture of the dependent variable, parenting stress.
Again, this problem may have been remedied by a larger sample size.
The use of the ZTPI and other self-report measures (particularly the use of the
PSI) call into question the possibility of socially desirable and/or defensive
responding. Two ways to counter defensive/socially desirable responding are to
67


include both interview processes that tap into the same constructs, or create less
transparent questionnaire items. Perhaps it could also be helpful to administer
multiple measures of temporal orientation, attachment, hope, and stress with inclusion
of measures of defensive responding. These processes may have provided a more
valid picture of variables such as parenting stress, and temporal orientation.
Another limitation highlights the possibility of problematic operationalization
of both independent and dependent variables. For example, use of the expanded
version of the ZTPI, which contains items assessing an emotional component for past,
present, and future orientations, may tap into a clearer explanation of the relationships
between temporal orientation, hope, attachment style, and stress. Indeed, more
specific operationalization of present orientation into hedonistic and fatalistic
subscales would have been useful, but was not possible in this study. In addition, a
broader operationalization of future orientation to include affect toward the future
could have resulted in a clearer picture. In addition, there were some problems with
measuring the independent variables, as somewhat moderate internal consistency was
found for some subscales (agency, pathways, and anxious/nonanxious attachment).
Finally, the studys findings are extremely limited in generalizability, (i.e. to
that of EHS parents in one of two sites in a metropolis in the Western United States).
In addition, another limitation of this study was the volunteer nature of the study as a
possible influence on individual differences of the main variables. For example,
68


Harber, et al. (2003) showed differences in participation of obligatory research in
students according to temporal orientation and gender. Specifically, they found that
women and those with future orientation signed up and completed research before
men or those with present orientation. While this research was not conducted with
students (or as a requirement for class) this phenomenon may have impacted the
temporal orientation of those whose data was collected earlier in the study (some of
which excluded data on parenting stress), and those whose data was collected later in
the study. Additionally, the volunteer nature of the study could have influenced the
levels of hope and parenting stress in an already highly group (given the nature of
EHS services).
69


Conclusions
Despite limitations, the current study found support for several of the
proposed hypotheses. First, results partially supported the first hypothesis. Findings
revealed no significant relationship between future temporal orientation and secure
attachment. One explanation of this finding is that narrow variance on future
temporal orientation limited the significance of the relationship to secure attachment
style. That is, because the sample mean of future orientation had a small standard
deviation, the resulting limited range could have excluded high and low observations
possibly found in a larger sample. It is also possible that there is indeed no
relationship between secure attachment in adult relationships and the planning and
monitoring of future behavior measured by future temporal orientation. The later
explanation is congruent with past research as, although Chisholm (1999)
hypothesized that secure adult attachment would be positively correlated with future
temporal orientation, he found no direct relationship between them. A different
explanation for this lack of a significant relationship is that future orientation and
secure attachment are linked through the mechanism of longer life expectancy, or
reproductive strategies (Chisholm, 1999), neither of which were measured in the
current study. Finally, it could be that associations between attachment style and
temporal orientation are clearer under different conditions (e.g. insecure attachment
and present orientation).
70


The second part of the first hypothesis predicted that secure attachment would
be negatively correlated with parenting stress. Indeed, results showed a significant
inverse relationship between these two variables (as shown in Figure 5.1). It seems
that this result indicates that those with secure attachment have less parenting stress
and vice versa. While the directionality of this relationship is somewhat unclear, it
seems plausible to state that secure attachment contributes to a sense of adaptive
coping with parenting stress, given the relatively stable nature of adult attachment
(Zhang & Labovie-vief, 2004) and the fluctuation of parenting stress (Abidin, 1990).
This finding that secure attachment and parenting stress are inversely related is
congruent with current research (e.g. Myers & Vetere, 2002; Simpson, et al., 1996).
It is possible that because of the nature of secure attachment, this inverse relationship
with parenting stress is actually a function of social support, marital support, or other
adaptive parental belief systems that could affect secure attachment, as has been
found in other research (Simpson, et al., 1992; Abidin, 1990; Belsky, 1984).
71


Note: ns = non-significant relationship; p< .05, ** p < .01.
Figure 5.1 Correlational Model of Inter-Variable Relationships: Future Orientation
72


The second hypothesis stated that future temporal orientation would be
positively related to hope, and that both future and hope would be negatively
correlated with parenting stress. Results showed partial support for this hypothesis,
and Figure 5.1 shows the results of the hypothesized relationships between future
orientation, hope, and stress. First, correlations revealed a significant positive
relationship between future temporal orientation and hope. While the literature had
previously linked these two variables through the mechanism of goal setting (Michael
& Snyder, 2005), it seems clear that these two variables are directly related in the
current sample. Bryant and Cvengros (2004) report that optimism and hope combine
to account for future orientation. In this sense they define hope as primarily
concerned with goal attainment and optimism as the expectancy of positive future
outcomes (Bryant & Cvengros, 2004). The current findings seem to initially support
this view that hope and optimism are different constructs that combine to contribute
to ones future orientation, and given the goal-oriented nature of future orientation in
this sample it seems that hope and future orientation are tapping into similar
constructs. However, because optimism was not assessed in the current study, and
because future orientation was limited in its operationalization (specifically in its
ability to measure an affective component of the future), it is unclear whether
optimism would account for the affective component of future orientation in this
sample. An alternative explanation is that hope is related to future orientation
73


through the construct of self-efficacy as studies have shown significant positive
correlations between them (e.g. Bandura, 1997; Magaletta & Oliver, 1999).
Alternatively, this relationship between future orientation and hope could be the result
of co-association with goal setting, a question left for future research to answer.
Additionally, hope had a highly significant inverse relationship with parenting
stress as predicted in the second hypothesis. It seems that one explanation of this
finding is that the positive affective component of hope (Menninger, 1959) is
inversely related to ones experience of stress in the parenting role. This finding also
seems congruent with the current literature, as hope has been found to be inversely
related to construct such as depression and anxiety [constructs somewhat similar to
parenting stress (Abidin, 1990)]. Another explanation of this finding is the
relationship between hope (especially the agency subscale) and the construct of self-
efficacy (Magaletta & Oliver, 1999). Hope (as opposed to optimism) is strongly
related to self-efficacy (Bryant & Cvengros, 2004) which has been shown to
moderate parenting stress in EHS participants (Raikes & Thompson, 2005). Thus it is
possible that hope operates as a coping mechanism for parenting stress in much the
same way as self efficacy, as opposed to the positive reappraisal coping mechanism
of optimism. This also highlights the potential activation of internal locus of control
(related to self-efficacy) as a coping mechanism for stress (Bandura, 1997; Rotter,
1964).
74


Finally, the third portion of the hypothesis predicted that future temporal
orientation would be negatively related to parenting stress. Results, however,
demonstrated no significant relationship in the current sample. In addition, future
orientation was not a significant predictor of parenting stress in the final step of the
regression analysis. These findings are contrary to past research which has linked
future orientation with coping with stress even in acutely stressful circumstances (e.g.
post 9/11 attacks) (e.g. Boyd & Zimbardo, 2005; Holman & Silver, 2005; Holman &
Zimbardo, 1998; Wills, et al., 2001). This finding, that future orientation is unrelated
to parenting stress, could be accounted for by the large correlation between hope and
parenting stress. As such, parenting stress could be most related to the affective
component of future temporal orientation, which was possibly represented by hope in
this case. Alternatively, it is possible that future orientation is manifest in greater
hope (as in self-efficacy toward the future) and it is this concept of perceived agency
in the future that is a more powerful predictor of stress than simply planning for the
future (Epel, et al., 1999). However, it could also be that future orientation is
adaptive for coping when the future is somewhat certain, but when the future is
perceived as risky and uncertain, that present orientation is a more adaptive coping
strategy (Chisholm, 1999). In addition, perhaps the current study was unable to tease
out the difference in the ability to cope with stress in general versus the experience of
parenting stress. It is possible, with more extensive versions of the ZTPI, that these
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relationships could examined, but limited operationalization in the current study does
not allow for conclusive evidence. This implies that future research is needed to
clarify the nature of future temporal orientation in its relationship to parenting stress.
The following two hypotheses, addressing attachment indices and their
relationships between temporal orientation and parenting stress, were supported. The
third hypothesis stated that anxious attachment style would be related to both present
temporal orientation and parenting stress. Results revealed that anxious attachment
was positively related to both present orientation and parenting stress. The next
hypothesis stated that avoidant attachment style would be positively correlated with
present temporal orientation and parenting stress. Results showed full support, in that
avoidant attachment style was positively related to both parenting stress and present
orientation. These findings seem to show a strong relationship between attachment
style and present temporal orientation (See Figure 5.2). It is possible that attachment
style as an adult helps to shape ones present temporal orientation, or vice versa. It
seems reasonable to suggest that those who are more anxious and/or avoidant in their
relationships would be more focused on the immediate gratification associated with
present temporal orientation. Furthermore, these findings seem to be similar
Chisholms (1999) findings between adult attachment and temporal orientation in
reproductive style.
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Note: ns = non-significant relationship; Double lines indicate significant predictor or
parenting stress; p< .05, ** p< .01
Figure 5.2 Correlational Model of Inter-Variable Relationships: Present Orientation
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It is possible that these associations between present orientation and insecure
attachment style are a function of early childhood stress. While Chisholm (1999) also
postulated this relationship, he found limited support for his hypothesis. One idea is
that early childhood stress is manifest in lowered expectancies for ones longevity
[known to be linked to present-fatalistic orientation (Chisholm, 1999)]. This results
in present orientation and insecure attachment as evolutionary coping mechanisms for
successful reproduction given a shortened life expectancy (Chisholm, 1999).
Similarly, present orientation and insecure attachment might be linked through shared
variance with a lack of contingency. That is, if the future is perceived as uncertain, a
hedonistic-present orientation and avoidant relationship strategies may serve as
protective factors from a potentially hostile world, impossible to predict.
Additionally, anxious attachment, present orientation (fatalistic), and possibly
external locus of control may be the result of chronic stressors and a lack of
contingency. However, the proposed mechanisms through which insecure attachment
and present orientation are related leave many questions for future research.
Another implication of the findings from hypotheses three and four is that
parenting stress is directly influenced by attachment style, or vice versa. That is to
say that because a parent is insecurely attached, they are likely to experience more
stress in the parenting role, or stress in the parenting role can influence ones
attachment style. These findings are convergent with several other researchers
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works linking insecure attachment style to parenting stress (e.g. Hill, et al., 1994;
Koopman, et al., 2000; Myers & Vetere, 2002; van IJzendoom, et al., 1992). This
relationship may be a function of several factors. First, perceived parenting strees
may be related to insecure adult attachment style through the sense of competency
one has in the parenting role (Abidin, 1997). It seems that because insecure
attachment may lead to a decrease in perceived parental competence, parenting may
occur as a more frustrating experience. Subsequently, parents may employ
inappropriate discipline, further exacerbating the lack of security in the attachment
relationship (Coyl, et al., 2002). Similarly, a lack of self efficacy (possibly expressed
as a function of insecure attachment) in the parenting role predicts an external locus
of control which in turn is associated with parenting stress (Campis, et al., 1986;
Gadzella, 1994). Next, it is possible that insecure attachment is associated with
inconsistencies in parenting which may lead to maladaptive child behavior (a
correlate of parenting stress) (Rossman & Rea, 2005). Indeed, it is also possible that
inconsistent parenting decreases learned contingency in the infant [possibly fostering
maladaptive stress-response development in the infant (Everhart & Emde, 2006)]
which could lead to increases in cumulative stress for the parent. Additionally,
insecure attachment and parenting stress may be linked through childhood adversity
as a shared developmental source (e.g. Chisholm, 1999; Hill, et al., 1994). Finally,
one alternative explanation of the relationship between parenting stress and insecure
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attachment is that being under stress influences the reporting of perceived attachment
style.
While it seems as though the relationships between parenting stress and
anxious and avoidant attachment are significant when compared separately, neither
avoidant attachment nor anxious attachment was found to be a significant predictor or
parenting stress in the regression analyses. While initially, these findings seem
inconsistent, it seems likely that the shared variance between the attachment indices
was partialled out in the regression analysis, leaving the unique variance so low as to
be statistically insignificant (though secure/avoidant scale approached significance).
It is possible, then, that the relationships between attachment styles and parenting
stress are either weak, or accounted for by a third variable.
In order to test the theory that attachments relationship with parenting stress
was accounted for by a third variable, a mediational model was used with hope as the
mediator between secure attachment and parenting stress. Secure attachment was
chosen for this model, as its regression coefficient approached significance in the first
step of the original regression (whereas the coefficient for anxious/nonanxious was
not significant). The finding that hope fully mediated the relationship between secure
attachment and parenting stress lends support to this notion that hope [specifically
through hopes relationship with self-efficacy (Bryant & Cvengros, 2004)] is an
intermediate variable in coping with parenting stress. That is those with secure
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attachment seem to have high levels of hope and general self-efficacy, which may
account for their lower perceived parenting stress.
The fifth hypothesis claimed that present temporal orientation would be
negatively related to hope and positively related to parenting stress. Results showed
only partial support for this hypothesis (See Figure 5.2). Results seem to indicate no
relationship between present temporal orientation and hope [contrary to findings that
indicate an inverse relationship between job efficacy and present orientation in a
homeless population (Epel, et al., 1999)]. It is possible that this finding was because
of the lack of a correlation between present and future orientations [also contrary to
past research (e.g. Epel, et al., 1999)]. Another explanation is that it is possible that
present orientation in EHS doesnt damage ones sense of hope and efficacy for the
future. If true, this seems to indicate that EHS parents in this sample have developed
a balance between living in the moment while maintaining hopeful for the future.
This seems likely if the present orientation scale used in the current study tapped into
more hedonistic construct of present orientation. However, if the present orientation
scale tapped into present-fatalism, then it is possible that the exclusion of pessimism
[as hope and pessimism are two different constructs (Bryant & Cvengros, 2004)] in
the current study misses a potential factor in determining temporal orientation in EHS
participants. Unfortunately, because of limitations in the operationalization of
present orientation in the current study, these conclusions cannot be verified.
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Alternatively, results showed that present orientation was significantly
positively correlated with parenting stress. This finding seems to add to a growing
number of studies linking present orientation with stress and coping (Boyd &
Zimbardo, 2005; Epel, et al., 1999; Holman & Silver, 1998). It seems reasonable to
suggest that present orientation [as a relatively stable dispositional characteristic (e.g.
Zimbardo & Boyd, 1999)] may influence ones experience of parenting stress in the
moment. It is reasonable to suggest that present orientation here acts as a negative
influence on coping, exacerbating the experience of stress in the parenting role. It is
unclear, however, if present orientation is a direct influence on parenting stress, acts
through another variable, or is, in fact, affected by ones perceived parenting stress.
Indeed, it seems logical to suggest that parents in conditions of stress might be more
present oriented, or that the stressor creates a temporary increase in present
orientation. Everhart (personal communication, April 12, 2007) has suggested a
useful analogy to understand this phenomenon; he likens the process of activating
present orientation at the onset of a stressor, to the mind states associated with before
and after blowing a tire on the highway on the way to work. Before the flat tire, the
driver could be thinking about work while driving (future orientation), but when the
tire goes flat (stressor), the driver is thrown into present orientation until the tire is
fixed. This process could be similar to the experience of parenting stress. When a
parent is confronted with a stressful situation, it may be that a temporary present
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orientation results as a coping mechanism for that stress, until the stressor subsides.
This seems to lend support to the notion that present orientation may be adaptive to
coping while enduring an acute stressor (Holman & Silver, 1998). However, this
process could be exacerbated if the parent is biased towards present orientation or
experiencing chronic stressors, thus limiting accesses to future orientation (Zimbardo
& Boyd, 1999). In an attempt to elaborate, it is possible that present-hedonism acts as
a temporary buffer for acute parenting stress, and/or that present-fatalism is the result
of chronic parenting stress. Unfortunately, specific interpretations based on present-
fatalistic or present-hedonistic orientation [as one might expect given past findings
(e.g. Boyd & Zimbardo, 2005)] are not possible in the current study given the broad
operationalization of present orientation.
The final hypothesis concerned the unique variance accounted for by each
independent variable. It was suggested that future and present temporal orientation
accounted for a unique variance in predicting parenting stress when controlling for
the other independent variables (hope, and attachment style). Indeed, results showed
that present orientation was a significant predictor of parenting stress; however, future
orientation was not. This finding seems convergent with one other study which found
differences in predictive ability between future and present orientation on lengths of
homelessness (Epel, et al., 1999). This finding seems to confirm the notion that
future temporal orientation and present temporal orientation are two separate
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constructs and not opposing ends of one scale (Zimbardo & Boyd, 1999). One
finding that was not predicted was that of hope as a significant predictor of parenting
stress alongside of present orientation in the final regression model. It seems that in
the current sample, hope appears to be a more important predictor than had been
hypothesized.
One consideration in interpreting these results is the nature of correlational
studies. The most obvious limitation is that causality cannot be clearly established
between the relationships described above. For example, it is unclear whether present
temporal orientation influences ones parenting stress or vice versa. It is possible that
experimental design would yield more meaningful results, including the possibility of
a third complicating variable. One example of a possible third variable interaction is
the explanation that parenting stress may be better predicted by the theorized
interaction between steepness of socioeconomic gradients and level of stress in
response to greater competition for resources. Socioeconomic gradient is the
relative status disparities within a given culture (p. 2, Everhart & Emde, 2006).
That is, within the social organization of human society, the disparity between the
lowest and highest status members of society, reflects levels of cooperation and
competition. The steepness of the gradient has a direct relationship with the
homogeneity of available power and resources. Everhart and Emde (2006) suggest
that the notion of attaining status may compound the already deleterious effects of
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poverty (as would apply to an EHS sample). They suggest that through these
mechanisms, maternal allostatic load influences infant regulatory system
development, such that an infant will operate in the immediate context while coping
with environmental stress (i.e. present temporal orientation). Combined with research
on temporal orientation and attachment development, this suggests an environmental
transfer of dispositional traits involved in stress regulation across one generation.
This potential third variable offers an alternative explanation as to how parenting
stress may relate to present orientation.
Supplementary Findings
Outside of the hypothesized relationships there were a few interesting
findings. Most notably was the significant difference between single parents and
non-single parents on their reported parenting stress. It is possible that this finding is
merely a skewed result from a small sample size. However, it could also reflect a real
relationship between parenting stress and single-parent status. This finding seems
congruent with others research linking marital and social support with parenting
stress (Abidin, 1990; Simpson, et al., 1992; Simpson, et al., 1996). On a somewhat
different note this study found that, contrary to past research (in which maternal age
was a significant moderator between the impacts of low SES on parenting stress
[Bakermans-Kranenburg, et al., 2004]) maternal age was not a significant predictor of
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parenting stress. This finding could be attributed to the low variability in SES, as all
participants were considered low-income.
The next findings proved slightly more difficult to explain. The study found
that there were significant differences in reported attachment styles between English-
speaking participants and Spanish-speaking participants. On the surface this finding
appears (and may well be) an important distinction. However, findings also revealed
similar differences in attachment style between the participants from the two different
sites. However, because there was no relationship between program site and
language, a statistical test of mediation was not possible. Thus, the findings could be
an accurate reflection of language-based differences in attachment style. However,
the findings could also reflect cultural differences or differences in interpretation
between the two versions of the Adult Attachment Questionnaire. This finding is also
somewhat skewed as the sample size of Spanish-speaking respondents is very low (n
= 10). It is possible that a clearer picture of these relationships can be found with a
greater sample size.
Future Considerations
While it is clear that present temporal orientation and hope are useful in
predicting reported scores of parenting stress, this study offers no tangible evidence
for a process by which to accomplish lowering that stress. It is possible that
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increasing ones hope and decreasing ones present orientation are mechanisms by
which to lower stress. Zimbardo & Boyd (1999) offer a reasonably practical
preventative strategy for those with greater propensity towards health risks through
training people toward less present orientation and more future orientation. While no
formal temporal orientation training curriculum exists, this prospect should be a focus
of future research with both clinical and normal populations. A similar process could
be developed to increase hope and efficacy provided that this indeed reduces stress.
Clearly, future research could elaborate on the operationalization of both hope
and temporal orientation in order to clarify their relationship with parenting stress. In
addition to specific operationalization changes, it might be useful to include
additional measures that might account for parenting stress. Specifically, it could be
useful to include a scale to measure optimism (e.g. Life Orientation Test, Scheier &
Carver, 1985) and anxiety about the future (e.g. Future Anxiety Scale, Zaleski, 1996).
Furthermore, concerning the possible intergenerational socialization of
temporal orientation, it is critical to gain an understanding of the early childhood
development of temporal orientation. It is hypothesized that socialization of temporal
orientation begins with seriation (the ordering of events into a sequence). This skill is
developed as children are exposed to parents referencing time and vocabulary
describing time. Parents who use more statements of physical and social time
increases seriation in children (Norton, 1993). This has implications for increased
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awareness of and reference to future orientation, including adding knowledge about
sedation into parental education. Additionally, research is needed to determine
whether it is beneficial to inform parents about temporal orientation development and
socialization. Further research is also needed to clarify the role of early childhood
stress and the development of temporal orientation. One avenue of research might
examine the notion that temporal orientation development is manifest in individual
differences in neurological development.
Finally, given that most research has focused on the benefits of future
orientation and the detriments of present orientation, it is interesting to note that
current research posits that optimal functioning consists of balanced proportions of
future, present and past orientations (Boniwell & Zimbardo, 2003; 2004). This
perspective highlights the current theoretical thrust of psychological balance
posited by positive psychology (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000). Despite the
potential for immense contribution to temporal orientation literature in this area, the
current study examined the inter-relatedness of a balanced temporal orientation on
psychological well-being only in a limited way. Future research should focus on
clarifying the development of this balanced temporal orientation (Boniwell &
Zimbardo, 2003; 2004) as a critical step in adding to the theoretical models employed
in positive psychology (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000).
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APPENDIX A
GOAL SETTING THEORY
The theory of temporal orientation becomes more plausible through the
concrete notions of goals and goal setting; both of which are steeped in the context of
time. A goal is the object or aim of an action [for example, attaining] a specific
standard of proficiency, usually within a specified time limit (p705, Locke &
Latham, 2002). Goals seem to be inherently cognitive projections into the future, and
hence become important in the consideration of future orientation. Researchers found
that increased projection of future goals was associated with increased information
seeking social behavior (Carstensen, et al. 1999). That is, the further people projected
their goals into the future, the more likely they were to demonstrate learning behavior
in social situations, and vice versa. This may explain why high future orientation is
associated with positive academic, socio-economic and work performance outcomes.
Theoretical discussions offer that goal setting is not an exclusively future oriented
process, and, in fact, goal setting may inherently involve present oriented processes
(Jones, 1988). That is, there is inherent enjoyment in goal-attainment, and some
behaviors which are pleasurable lead to future goal-attainment. One example could
be a group presentation at a marketing firm. The camaraderie experienced by the
members of the group in producing the final goal could be enjoyable. In addition, the
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process of spontaneous and creative brainstorming (an arguably enjoyable
experience) actually helped produce results toward their goal attainment.
However, the goal setting process is not always beneficial. Locke & Latham
(1990) describe the negative affective states that accompany fear of failure, perceived
lack of efficacy, intense experience of pressure to succeed, and perception of the goal
being too hard. While these conditions of goal striving/failure are markedly different,
there seems to be a common lack of mental well-being associated with them. It
seems also that the type of goals can affect the associated emotional reaction. One
study found that if goals are vague, it tends to increase depression, and associated
increased stress (Kamiol & Ross, 1996). Furthermore, Emmons (1992) found that
people who have abstract/loffy goals probably have more psychological stress,
whereas people who have very concrete goals are more likely to have physical
distress. Given that different psycho-physiological stress reactions are possible
depending on associated goal state; this could have potentially meaningful impacts on
goal-striving and temporal orientation. Indeed, it seems reasonable to conclude that
temporal orientation may have impacts on once affective experience during the goal
setting/striving process, and/or vice versa.
90