• time perspective;
  • motivation;
  • delay of gratification;
  • learning environment


After they start secondary school (at age 12 in the Netherlands), students' time perspectives on school and professional career and self-regulated learning decrease, while their perspectives on leisure increase. We aimed to investigate relations in the developments in time perspectives and delay of gratification in the first years of secondary education. In addition, the dependence of these relations on students' perceptions of the extent to which teachers emphasize the relevance of what is being learned was investigated. Seven hundred and one students participated in the study. A self-report questionnaire was administered four times. The results showed the expected decreases in time perspectives on school and professional career and on delay of gratification and increases in perspectives on leisure. Furthermore, as expected, the development in short-term perspective on school and professional career was positively related, and the development in the long-term perspective on leisure was negatively related, to the development in delay of gratification. Positive relations were found between emphasized relevance of learning and developments in students' perspectives on school and professional career and delay of gratification.