Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 745–759

Can Hope be Changed in 90 Minutes? Testing the Efficacy of a Single-Session Goal-Pursuit Intervention for College Students

Authors

    • Department of Counseling Psychology, Loyola HallSanta Clara University
  • Diane E. Dreher
    • Department of Counseling Psychology, Loyola HallSanta Clara University
Research Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10902-011-9292-4

Cite this article as:
Feldman, D.B. & Dreher, D.E. J Happiness Stud (2012) 13: 745. doi:10.1007/s10902-011-9292-4

Abstract

Despite extensive research demonstrating relationships between hope and well being, little work addresses whether hope is malleable. We test a single-session, 90-min intervention to increase college students’ hopeful goal-directed thinking (as defined by Snyder et al. in, Pers Soc Psychol 60:570–585, 1991). To date, this study represents the only test of hope’s malleability in fewer than five sessions and contributes to the small but growing literature regarding positive-psychology interventions. This intervention is especially relevant to college students, given the increasing psychological distress and lack of perceived control noted among this population (Lewinsohn et al. in, J Abnorm Psychol 102:110–120, 1993; Twenge et al. in, Pers Soc Psychol Rev 8:308–319, 2004). Ninety-six participants were assigned to the hope intervention or one of two comparison/control conditions—progressive muscle relaxation or no intervention. Assessment occurred prior to intervention (pre-test), following intervention (post-test), and at one-month follow-up. Participants in the hope intervention showed increases in measures of hope, life purpose, and vocational calling from pre- to post-test relative to control participants. They also reported greater progress on a self-nominated goal at one-month follow-up. Counterintuitively, although hope predicted goal progress, hope did not mediate the relationship between intervention condition and goal progress. Implications of these findings and future directions are discussed.

Keywords

Hope theoryGoalsGoal-specific hopeSingle-session interventionPositive-psychology interventionCollege studentsPurpose in life

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011