The present study evaluated psychometric features and correlates of the Hopelessness Scale for Children among 262 child psychiatric inpatients (ages = 6 to 13 years old). Based on theory and research derived from the investigation of adult depression, hopelessness was examined in relation to depression, self-esteem, and social behavior. The results indicated that the scale was internally consistent, that item-total score correlations and test-retest reliability (over a 6-week period) were in the moderate range, and that individual items discriminated high and low hopelessness children. As predicted, hopelessness correlated positively with depression and negatively with self-esteem and social behavior. Overall, the relation of hopelessness to selected facets of affective and social functioning closely parallel results obtained with adults. Given the availability of a measure of hopelessness for children, several substantive questions regarding antecedents of negative expectations toward the future, the developmental course of these expectations, and the extent to which they predict subsequent dysfunction (e.g., suicidal behavior) in adolescence and adulthood warrant investigation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health