Hope Therapy in a Community Sample: A Pilot Investigation

Abstract

We report findings from an initial empirical test of a hope-based, group therapy protocol. In this context, hope is defined as a cognitive process through which individuals pursue their goals [Snyder, C. R.: 1994, Free Press, New York]. As such, the eight-session group treatment emphasized building goal-pursuit skills. Findings from a randomized, wait-list control trial using a community sample (n=32 completers) are reported. Participants underwent structured diagnostic interviews (SCID-I) and completed assessment packets. Post-participation assessment results indicate the intervention was associated with statistically significant (p<0.05) improvements in the agency component of hope, life meaning, and self-esteem as well as reductions in symptoms of depression and anxiety. These results suggest that a brief hope intervention can increase some psychological strengths and reduce some symptoms of psychopathology.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. N. Abell B. L. Jones W. W. Hudson (1984) ArticleTitle‘Revalidation of the index of self-esteem’ Social Work Research and Abstracts 20 11–16

    Google Scholar 

  2. InstitutionalAuthorNameAmerican Psychiatric Association (2002) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Test Revision American Psychiatric Publishing Washington, DC

    Google Scholar 

  3. E. J. Coats R. Janoff-Bulman N. Alpert (1996) ArticleTitle‘Approach versus avoidance goals: Differences in self-evaluation and well-being’ Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 22 1057–1067

    Google Scholar 

  4. J. C. Crumbaugh L. T. Maholick (1964) ArticleTitle‘An experimental study in existentialism: The psychometric approach to Frankl’s concept of noogenic neurosis’ Journal of Clinical Psychology 20 200–207

    Google Scholar 

  5. L. A. Curry C. R. Snyder D. L. Cook B. C. Ruby M. Rehm (1997) ArticleTitle‘Role of hope in academic and sport achievement’ Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 73 1257–1267 Occurrence Handle10.1037/0022-3514.73.6.1257

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Feldman, D. B. and C. R. Snyder: in press, ‘Hope and the meaningful life: Theoretical and empirical associations between goal-directed thinking and life meaning’. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology

  7. First, M. B., R. L. Spitzer, M. Gibbon and J. B. W. Williams: 1995, Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders – Clinical Version. Biometrics Research Department, New York State Psychiatric Institute

  8. J. D. Frank (1978) Persuasion and Healing Schocken Books New York

    Google Scholar 

  9. M. Hamilton (1960) ArticleTitle‘A rating scale for depression’ Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry 23 56–62 Occurrence Handle10.1136/jnnp.23.1.56

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. L. M. Irving C. R. Snyder J. J. Crowson SuffixJr. (1998) ArticleTitle‘Hope and the negotiation of cancer facts by college women’ Journal of Personality 66 195–214 Occurrence Handle10.1111/1467-6494.00009

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. T. Kasser R. M. Ryan (1996) ArticleTitle‘Further examining the American dream: Differential correlates of intrinsic and extrinsic goals’ Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 22 280–287

    Google Scholar 

  12. C. L. M. Keyes (2005) ArticleTitle‘Mental illness and/or mental health? Investigating axioms of the complete state model of health’ Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 73 539–548 Occurrence Handle10.1037/0022-006X.73.3.539

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. A. M. Kielbasa A. M. Pomerantz E. J. Krohn B. F. Sullivan (2004) ArticleTitle‘How does clients’ method of payment influence psychologists’ diagnostic decisions?’ Ethics and Behavior 14 187–195 Occurrence Handle10.1207/s15327019eb1402_6

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. E. J. Klausner J. F. Clarkin L. Spielman C. Pupo R. Abrams G. S. Alexopoulos (1998) ArticleTitle‘Late-life depression and functional disability: The role of goal-focused group psychotherapy’ International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 13 707–716 Occurrence Handle10.1002/(SICI)1099-1166(1998100)13:10<707::AID-GPS856>3.0.CO;2-Q

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. E. Klausner C. R. Snyder J. Cheavens (2000) ‘A hope-based group treatment for depressed older adult outpatients’ G. M. Williamson P. A. Parmlee D. R. Shaffer (Eds) Physical Illness and Depression in Older Adults: A Handbook of Theory, Research, and Practice Plenum New York 295–310

    Google Scholar 

  16. L. Lecci P. Karoly C. Briggs K. Kuhn (1994) ArticleTitle‘Specificity and generality of motivational components in depression: A personal projects analysis’ Journal of Abnormal Psychology 103 404–408 Occurrence Handle10.1037/0021-843X.103.2.404

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. D. McDermott C. R. Snyder (1999) Making Hope Happen New Harbinger Press Oakland, CA

    Google Scholar 

  18. W. Piper (1978) The Little Engine That Could Grosset & Dunlap New York

    Google Scholar 

  19. L. S. Radloff (1977) ArticleTitle‘The CES-D scale: A self-report depression scale for research in the general population’ Applied Psychological Measurement 1 385–401

    Google Scholar 

  20. D. A. Regier W. E. Narrow D. S. Rae R. W. Manderscheid B. Z. Locke F. K. Goodwin (1993) ArticleTitle‘The de facto U.S. mental health and addictive disorders service system: Epidemiologic catchment area prospective 1-year prevalence rates of disorders and services’ Archives of General Psychiatry 50 85–94

    Google Scholar 

  21. M. E. P. Seligman (2002) ‘Positive psychology, positive prevention, and positive therapy’ C. R. Snyder S. J. Lopez (Eds) Handbook of Positive Psychology Oxford University Press New York 3–9

    Google Scholar 

  22. M. E. P. Seligman C. Peterson (2003) ‘Positive clinical psychology’ L. G. Aspinwall U. M. Staudinger (Eds) A Psychology of Human Strengths: Fundamental Questions and Future Directions for a Positive Psychology American Psychological Association Washington, DC 305–317

    Google Scholar 

  23. C. R. Snyder (1994) The Psychology of Hope: You Can Get There from Here Free Press New York

    Google Scholar 

  24. C. R. Snyder (1995) ArticleTitle‘Conceptualizing, measuring, and nurturing hope’ Journal of Counseling and Development 73 355–360

    Google Scholar 

  25. C. R. Snyder (2002) ArticleTitle‘Hope theory: Rainbows in the mind’ Psychological Inquiry 13 249–275 Occurrence Handle10.1207/S15327965PLI1304_01

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. C. R. Snyder J. Cheavens S. C. Sympson (1997) ArticleTitle‘Hope: An individual motive for social commerce’ Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice 1 107–118 Occurrence Handle10.1037/1089-2699.1.2.107

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. C. R. Snyder D. B. Feldman H. S. Shorey K. L. Rand (2002) ArticleTitle‘Hopeful choices: A school counselor’s guide to hope theory’ Professional School Counseling 5 298–306

    Google Scholar 

  28. C. R. Snyder C. Harris J. R. Anderson S. A. Holleran L. M. Irving S. T. Sigmon L. Yoshinobu J. Gibb C. Langelle P. Harney (1991) ArticleTitle‘The will and the ways: Development and validation of an individual-differences measure of hope’ Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 60 570–585 Occurrence Handle10.1037/0022-3514.60.4.570

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. C. R. Snyder S. S. Ilardi J. Cheavens S. T. Michael L. Yamhure S. Sympson (2000) ArticleTitle‘The role of hope in cognitive behavior therapies’ Cognitive Therapy and Research 24 747–762 Occurrence Handle10.1023/A:1005547730153

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. C. R. Snyder A. B. LaPointe J. J. Crowson SuffixJr. S. Early (1998) ArticleTitle‘Preference of high- and low-hope people for self-referential input’ Cognition and Emotion 12 807–823 Occurrence Handle10.1080/026999398379448

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. C. R. Snyder S. T. Michael J. S. Cheavens (1999) ‘Hope as a psychotherapeutic foundation of nonspecific factors, placebos, and expectancies’ M. A. Huble B. Duncan S. Miller (Eds) Heart and Soul of Change APA Washington, D.C 205–230

    Google Scholar 

  32. C. R. Snyder S. C. Sympson F. C. Ybasco T. F. Borders M. A. Babyak R. L. Higgins (1996) ArticleTitle‘Development and validation of the State Hope Scale’ Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 70 321–335 Occurrence Handle10.1037/0022-3514.70.2.321

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. C. D. Spielberger R. L. Gorsuch R. Lushene P. R. Vagg G .A. Jacobs (1983) Manual for the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory – STAI (Form Y) “Self-Evaluation Questionnaire” Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc Palo Alto, CA

    Google Scholar 

  34. R. E. Thayer R. Newman T. M. McClain (1994) ArticleTitle‘Self-regulation of mood: Strategies for changing a bad mood, raising energy, and reducing tension’ Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 67 910–925 Occurrence Handle10.1037/0022-3514.67.5.910

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jennifer S. Cheavens.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Cheavens, J.S., Feldman, D.B., Gum, A. et al. Hope Therapy in a Community Sample: A Pilot Investigation. Soc Indic Res 77, 61–78 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-005-5553-0

Download citation

Keywords

  • Depressive Symptom
  • Hope Theory
  • Pathway Score
  • Hope Intervention
  • Agency Subscale