Measurement of hope as exhibited by a general adult population after a stressful event




Nowotny, Mary L.

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The purpose of this study was to develop a reliable and valid instrument after a stressful event. A measurement of hope is needed that would apply to any population and to individuals that are facing a variety of stressful events. The following research questions were investigated: What is the reliability and validity of an instrument measuring hope as exhibited in a general adult population after a stressful event? What are the dimensional components of the hope experience as selected by a general adult population after a stressful event?

A review of the literature provided a conceptual framework for this study and the development of the Nowotny Hope Scale. Six dimensions of hope were identified and became the subscales for the instrument. Content validity was established in the pilot study.

A purposive sampling procedure was used in this methodological study. The sample consisted of 306 adults, both well individuals and individuals with cancer, between the ages of 20 and 85 who had experienced a stressful event.

Reliability analysis, using Cronbach's coefficient alpha; construct validity analysis, using principal components analysis; and concurrent validity, using the Beck Hopelessness Scale were conducted on the data. The final instrument, a 29 item scale, had a Cronbach coefficient alpha of .897. Concurrent validity was established at (r = -.471, p < .001). The principal components analysis yielded six factors for the new scale.

This study is a beginning for the conceptualization of hope with these six dimensions. More studies are needed to support these dimensions. This study has added to the body of knowledge about hope and the development of a theory of hope. The development of a hope scale has shown that hope is a measurable quantity and that varying levels of hope are present in well individuals and in cancer patients. The instrument developed in this study provides directions for further research.



Measuring hope, Stressful event, Developing a measurement instrument