We aimed to investigate (1) bivariate associations between alcohol use, time perspective, temporal competency, and personality traits; (2) the extent to which different temporal scales predicted alcohol use in order to select constructs most related to alcohol use; and (3) the most related temporalities as mediators between personality traits and alcohol use. French (n = 389) and Canadian (n = 478) college students responded to questionnaires online. Analyses included (1) correlations between measures; (2) three multiple regressions in which different sets of temporalities (ZTPI, TCT-5D, a combination of scales) predicted alcohol use; (2) five multiple parallel mediator models, in which one big-5 trait was entered as a distal factor leading to alchol use through the parallel mediators of temporalities. Most temporal dimensions were correlated with alcohol use and a unique set of personality traits. The combination of temporal scales (past negative, present hedonist, anticipation, temporal rupture) predicted alcohol use better than any other instrument. All personality traits explained alcohol use through different sets of temporalities. Cases of indirect only and competitive mediation were observed. Personality traits explained alcohol consumption through the multiple parallel mediators of temporalities. In some cases (neuroticism, openness and agreeableness) temporalities had to be taken into account in order to observe an effect of personality on alcohol use which helps explain inconsistencies in the literature. Future work may benefit from taking into account combinations of temporal dimensions in order to best explain (drinking) behaviors, including but not limited to the Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory.
We developed and validated a new version of our test of temporal competency. In three studies we (1) defined dimensions, created items and studied face and content validity; (2) examined dimensionality and reliability; and (3) confirmed factor structure and studied convergent validity. Focus groups were held in which we drew up temporal concepts that articulated well with clinical observations. We derived a questionnaire that was administered to French young people and this data was used to reduce the questionnaire to 15 items. Reliability and validity of the 15-item version was studied among samples: French college, French high school, and Québec college. Five dimensions were defined and retained: anticipation, full present, temporal rupture, past, future. 15 items explained 68% of variance. The model provided adequate fit in confirmatory analyses across samples. Scales converged with hypothesized dimensions of the ZTPI and scales mostly maintained acceptable reliability. Conceptual issues with ZTPI were addressed, possibly rectified and discussed in light of clinical practice. The past was defined by how much one grows from experience independently of how ‘happy’ or ‘sad’ events were. Full present and temporal rupture relate to living in the now, the first by means of flow and engagement, the second by means of addictive behaviors. Future entailed a projection unto uncertainty, whereas anticipation defined adapting behavior in order to achieve short-term goals. We found that the questionnaire had adequate psychometric proprieties among Francophone youth in Canada and in France.