The Hopelessness Scale for Children. Psychometric Characteristics and Concurrent Validity

Alan E. Kazdin, Antoinette Rodgers, Debra Colbus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

392 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-245
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1986
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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