Future time perspective of sixth graders from contrasting ethnic and class background

dc.contributor.advisorBaxter, James C.
dc.contributor.committeeMemberJohnson, Dale L.
dc.contributor.committeeMemberSchulman, Sam S.
dc.creatorClark, James E.
dc.description.abstractThe present study explored the interrelationships between a number of measures of future time perspective (FTP) and the manner in which those measures differentiated between both matched and unselected samples of Mexican- American, Anglo-American, end Negro-American sixth graders from two socio-economic strata. The major interest was in better understanding the manner in which children from several segments of American society view and conceptualize their future. A number of methodological and conceptual difficulties have characterized past research in this area, and it was felt that this goal could be meaningfully accomplished only in the context of a multivariate design which first considered the relationship between earlier theoretical and operational definitions of FTP. Correlational analyses indicated that FTP cannot be viewed as a unitary construct and that different measures of FTP cannot be used interchangeably. Although intercorrelations between nine measures were fairly low, they converged into several meaningful clusters which were, differentially related to intelligence. A factor analysis yielded three major factors which accounted for 50.3 per cent of the variance in the original correlational matrix. Of these, Factor I, labelled as "a personal general concern for the attainment of adult status," and Factor III, labelled as a "pessimistic- fantasy orientation toward the future," were considered to be the most meaningful. Factor II was less interpretable and was viewed as being of less interest. The emergence of Factors I and III was seen as indicating that it is necessary to distinguish between personal and idiosyncratic views of the future on one hand and views defined in terms of social norms external to the individual on the other. Results of these analyses as well as comparisons between selected pairs of variables were interpreted as providing a modicum of support for the general construct validity of FTP but as questioning the manner in which several dimensions of FTP have been conceptualized in the past. The major group differences were obtained for those measures which had high loadings on Factor III. Measures loading on Factor I showed no group differences, and it was thus concluded that the subject groups did not differ in their personal concerns for the attainment of adult status and autonomy. No social status differences were obtained; however, the three ethnic groups' attitudes and expectancies toward realistic (high probability) and unrealistic (low probability) future possibilities were markedly different. Compared to the Anglo-American Ss, the Mexican-American Ss evidenced lower subjective probabilities of attainment on the realistic events, while the Negro-American subjects' higher level of expectancy with respect to the unrealistic events represented a major difference which set them apart from both of the other subject groups. Against the background of a society in which many social rewards are contingent upon white middle-class values and behavior, these findings were seen as reflecting two contrasting problems the minority groups might have in achieving more effective levels of social and economic participation. For the Mexican-American children, one difficulty may center around differing values and attitudes toward those sub-goals and instrumental channels through which class nobility and higher levels of employment have traditionally been achieved. Exceptionally high hopes based upon a misunderstanding of the opportunities available in white society would suggest that some relatively improbable events will have to occur to preclude considerable future disappointment and disillusionment for the Negro-American children.
dc.description.departmentPsychology, Department of
dc.format.digitalOriginreformatted digital
dc.rightsThis item is protected by copyright but is made available here under a claim of fair use (17 U.S.C. Section 107) for non-profit research and educational purposes. Users of this work assume the responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing, or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires express permission of the copyright holder.
dc.subjectTime perspective
dc.subjectChildren of minorities
dc.subjectSocioeconomic status (SES)
dc.titleFuture time perspective of sixth graders from contrasting ethnic and class background
dcterms.accessRightsThe full text of this item is not available at this time because it contains documents that are presumed to be under copyright and are accessible only to users who have an active CougarNet ID. This item will continue to be made available through interlibrary loan.
thesis.degree.collegeCollege of Arts and Sciences
thesis.degree.departmentPsychology, Department of
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Houston
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Arts


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