Advertisement

Social Indicators Research

, Volume 133, Issue 1, pp 373–393 | Cite as

Contextual Determinants of Hopelessness: Investigating Socioeconomic Factors and Emotional Climates

  • Davide Morselli
Article

Abstract

Perceptions of the future are crucial components of individual well-being. Hopelessness, which is the sense that the future is a dead end, begins with the occurrence of negative life events and develops through the perception of consistent and pervasive negative outcomes. This study investigated the role of the socioeconomic aspects of the context and shared emotions (emotional climates) within a region in reducing or exacerbating hopelessness. Emotional climates have been defined as the emotional relationships constructed among members of a society, and they describe the environmental quality of a particular community. Multilevel modeling with individuals nested into regions (i.e., Swiss cantons) was used to explore the relationship between context and hopelessness. Data from the project “Vulnerability and Growth,” the Swiss Household Panel and official socioeconomic indicators were used. Spatial-weighting methods were applied to estimate depressive and optimistic emotional climates at the canton level. The results show that hopelessness is primarily affected by individual factors such as personality and life events. However, the analyses revealed that socioeconomic conditions and the optimistic and depressive climates that prevail in cantons also affected individuals’ perceptions of hopelessness. Individuals were more likely to feel hopeless in cantons with high unemployment rates and high levels of shared negative emotions. In contrast, positive emotional climates played a protective role against hopelessness. Acknowledgment of the influence of context on individuals’ perceptions of the future and the correlation of their states of anxiety and depression is pivotal for planning effective interventions to prevent depression.

Keywords

Depression Emotions Life change events Protective factors Risk factors 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study is the result of research developed within the framework of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research LIVES, which is financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation. The author is grateful to the Principal Investigator of “Vulnerability and Growth,” Prof. Pasqualina Perrig-Chiello, and the Swiss National Science Foundation for its financial support. This study also uses the data collected by the Swiss Household Panel (SHP), which is based at the Swiss Centre of Expertise in the Social Sciences FORS. The project is financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

References

  1. Abramson, L. Y., Metalsky, G. I., & Alloy, L. B. (1989). Hopelessness depression: A theory-based subtype of depression. Psychological Review, 96(2), 358–372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Adams, J. (2009). The mediating role of time perspective in socio-economic inequalities in smoking and physical activity in older English adults. Journal of Health Psychology, 14, 794–799.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Agnew, C. R., & Loving, T. J. (1998). The role of social desirability in self-reported condom use attitudes and intentions. AIDS and Behavior, 2, 229–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Alarcon, G. M., Bowling, N. A., & Khazon, S. (2013). Great expectations: A meta-analytic examination of optimism and hope. Personality and Individual Differences, 54(7), 821–827.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Allemand, M., Hill, P. L., Ghaemmaghami, P., & Martin, M. (2012). Forgivingness and subjective well-being in adulthood: The moderating role of future time perspective. Journal of Research in Personality, 46(1), 32–39. doi: 10.1016/j.jrp.2011.11.004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Alloy, L. B., & Clements, C. M. (1998). Hopelessness theory of depression: Tests of the symptom component. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 22(4), 303–335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Aneshensel, C. S., & Sucoff, C. A. (1996). The neighborhood context of adolescent mental health. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 37(4), 293–310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bates, D., Maechler, M., Bolker, B., & Walker, S. (2013). lme4: Linear mixed-effects models using eigen and s4. Retrieved from http://CRAN.R-project.org/package=lme4.
  9. Beck, A. T., Steer, R. A., Beck, J. S., & Newman, C. F. (1993). Hopelessness, depression, suicidal ideation, and clinical diagnosis of depression. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 23(2), 139–145.Google Scholar
  10. Beck, A. T., Weissman, A., Lester, D., & Trexler, L. (1974). The measurement of pessimism: The hopelessness scale. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 42(6), 861–865.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Benasayag, M., & Schmit, G. (2003). Les passions tristes. Paris: La Découvert.Google Scholar
  12. Carstensen, L. L., Isaacowitz, D. M., & Charles, S. T. (1999). Taking time seriously: A theory of socioemotional selectivity. American Psychologist, 54(3), 165–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chapman, G. B., Brewer, N. T., Coups, E. J., Brownlee, S., Leventhal, H., & Leventhal, E. A. (2001). Value for the future and preventive health behavior. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 7, 235–250.Google Scholar
  14. Chioqueta, A. P., & Stiles, T. C. (2005). Personality traits and the development of depression, hopelessness, and suicide ideation. Personality and Individual Differences, 38(6), 1283–1291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Chochinov, H. M., Wilson, K. G., Enns, M., & Lander, S. (1998). Depression, hopelessness, and suicidal ideation in the terminally ill. Psychosomatics, 39(4), 366–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cole, D. A. (1989). Psychopathology of adolescent suicide: Hopelessness, coping beliefs, and depression. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 98(3), 248–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Conejero, S., & Etxebarria, I. (2007). The impact of the Madrid bombing on personal emotions, emotional atmosphere and emotional climate. Journal of Social Issues, 63(2), 273–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Cutrona, C. E., Wallace, G., & Wesner, K. A. (2006). Neighborhood characteristics and depression an examination of stress processes. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 15(4), 188–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dasborough, M. T. (2009). How meso-level negative emotional contagion can ultimately determine organizational attitudes toward leaders. The Leadership Quarterly, 20(4), 571–585.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. De Rivera, J. (1992). Emotional climate: Social structure and emotional dynamics. International Review of Studies on Emotion, 2, 197–218.Google Scholar
  21. De Rivera, J., & Páez, D. (2007). Emotional climate, human security, and cultures of peace. Journal of Social Issues, 63(2), 233–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Desmyter, F., & De Raedt, R. (2012). The relationship between time perspective and subjective well-being of older adults. Psychologica Belgica, 52(1), 19–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Dyck, M. J. (1991). Positive and negative attitudes mediating suicide ideation. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 21(4), 360–373.Google Scholar
  24. Dyer, J., & Kreitman, N. (1984). Hopelessness, depression and suicidal intent in parasuicide. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 144(2), 127–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Elcheroth, G., Penic, S., Fasel, R., Giudici, F., Glaeser, S., Joye, D., et al. (2013). Spatially weighted context data and their application to collective war experiences. Sociological Methodology, 43(1), 364–411.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Elliott, M. (2000). The stress process in neighborhood context. Health & Place, 6(4), 287–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gallagher, M. W., Lopez, S. J., & Pressman, S. D. (2013). Optimism is universal: Exploring the presence and benefits of optimism in a representative sample of the world. Journal of Personality, 81(5), 429–440.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gonzalez, M., Jones, D. J., Kincaid, C. Y., & Cuellar, J. (2012). Neighborhood context and adjustment in African American youths from single mother homes: The intervening role of hopelessness. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 18(2), 109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hautzinger, M., & Bailer, M. (1993). ADS: Allgemeine depressions skala. Weinheim: Beltz.Google Scholar
  30. Holman, E. A., & Cohen Silver, R. (2005). Future-oriented thinking and adjustment in a nationwide longitudinal study following the September 11th terrorist attacks. Motivation and Emotion, 29(4), 389–410.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Holmes, T. H., & Rahe, R. H. (1967). The social readjustment rating scale. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 11(2), 213–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hox, J. (2002). Multilevel analysis. Techniques and approaches. Mahway, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  33. Hutchison, S., Perrig-Chiello, P., Höpflinger, F., Morselli, D., van Rhee, E., & Spini, D. (2013). Vulnerability and growth. Developmental dynamics and differential effects of the loss of an intimate partner in the second half of life. LIVES Working Papers (2013). doi: 10.12682/lives.2296-1658.2013.23
  34. Junge, T., Penic, S., Cossuta, M., & Elcheroth, G. (2013). spacom: Spatially weighted context data for multilevel modelling. Retrieved from http://CRAN.R-project.org/package=spacom.
  35. Kashani, J. H., Suarez, L., Allan, W. D., & Reid, J. C. (1997). Hopelessness in inpatient youths: A closer look at behavior, emotional expression, and social support. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 36(11), 1625–1631.Google Scholar
  36. Kirby, K. N., & Petry, N. M. (2004). Heroin and cocaine abusers have higher discount rates for delayed rewards than alcoholics or non-drug-using controls. Addiction, 99, 461–471.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Klebanov, P. K., Brooks-Gunn, J., & Duncan, G. J. (1994). Does neighborhood and family poverty affect mothers’ parenting, mental health, and social support? Journal of Marriage and the Family, 56(2), 441–455.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kleiman, E. M., Adams, L. M., Kashdan, T. B., & Riskind, J. H. (2013). Grateful individuals are not suicidal: Buffering risks associated with hopelessness and depressive symptoms. Personality and Individual Differences, 55(5), 595–599.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kosnes, L., Whelan, R., O’Donovan, A., & McHugh, L. A. (2013). Implicit measurement of positive and negative future thinking as a predictor of depressive symptoms and hopelessness. Consciousness and Cognition, 22(3), 898–912.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Kotter-Gruehn, D., & Smith, J. (2011). When time is running out: Changes in positive future perception and their relationships to changes in well-being in old age. Psychology and Aging, 26(2), 381–387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Kovacs, M., Beck, A. T., & Weissman, A. (1975). Hopelessness: An indicator of suicidal risk. Suicide, 5(2), 98–103.Google Scholar
  42. Krampen, G., & Beck, A. T. (1994). Skalen zur erfassung von hoffnungslosigkeit (h-skalen). Göttingen: Hogrefe.Google Scholar
  43. Maas, C. J., & Hox, J. J. (2002). Robustness of multilevel parameter estimates against small sample sizes. Utrecht: Utrecht University.Google Scholar
  44. Marsiglia, F. F., Kulis, S., Perez, H. G., & Bermudez-Parsai, M. (2011). Hopelessness, family stress, and depression among Mexican-heritage mothers in the southwest. Health and Social Work, 36(1), 7–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Mazza, J. J., & Reynolds, W. M. (1998). A longitudinal investigation of depression, hopelessness, social support, and major and minor life events and their relation to suicidal ideation in adolescents. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 28(4), 358–374.Google Scholar
  46. Melges, F. T., & Bowlby, J. (1969). Types of hopelessness in psychopathological process. Archives of General Psychiatry, 20(6), 690–699.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Miranda, R., Tsypes, A., Gallagher, M., & Rajappa, K. (2013). Rumination and hopelessness as mediators of the relation between perceived emotion dysregulation and suicidal ideation. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 37(4), 786–795. doi: 10.1007/s10608-013-9524-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Morselli, D. (2013). The olive tree effect: Future time perspective when the future is uncertain. Culture & Psychology, 19(3), 305–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Muthen, B., & Satorra, A. (1995). Complex sample data in structural equation modeling. Sociological Methodology, 25, 267–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Neteler, M., Bowman, M. H., Landa, M., & Metz, M. (2012). GRASS GIS: A multi-purpose open source GIS. Environmental Modelling & Software, 31, 124–130. Retrieved 2013-12-19, from http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1364815211002775.
  51. Nummenmaa, L., Hirvonen, J., Parkkola, R., & Hietanen, J. K. (2008). Is emotional contagion special? A fMRI study on neural systems for affective and cognitive empathy. Neuroimage, 43(3), 571–580.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. O’Brien, R. M. (1990). Estimating the reliability of aggregate-level variables based on individual-level characteristics. Sociological Methods & Research, 18(4), 473–504.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Páez, D., Basabe, N., Ubillos, S., & GonzálezCastro, J. L. (2007). Social sharing, participation in demonstrations, emotional climate, and coping with collective violence after the March 11th Madrid bombings. Journal of Social Issues, 63(2), 323–337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Perez-Smith, A., Spirito, A., & Boergers, J. (2002). Neighborhood predictors of hopelessness among adolescent suicide attempters: Preliminary investigation. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 32(2), 139–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Perrig-Chiello, P., Hutchison, S., & Morselli, D. (2015). Patterns of psychological adaptation to divorce after a long-term marriage. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 32, 386–405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Radloff, L. S. (1977). The CES-d scale a self-report depression scale for research in the general population. Applied Psychological Measurement, 1(3), 385–401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Rammstedt, B., & John, O. P. (2007). Measuring personality in one minute or less: A 10-item short version of the big five inventory in English and German. Journal of Research in Personality, 41(1), 203–212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Revelle, W. (2013). psych: Procedures for psychological, psychometric, and personality research. Evanston, Illinois. Retrieved from http://CRAN.R-project.org/package=psych.
  59. Reynolds, B., Richards, J. B., Horn, K., & Karraker, K. (2004). Delay discounting and probability discounting as related to cigarette smoking status in adults. Behavioural Processes, 65, 35–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Rimé, B. (2005). Le partage social des émotions. Paris: Presses universitaires de France.Google Scholar
  61. Rimé, B. (2007). The social sharing of emotion as an interface between individual and collective processes in the construction of emotional climates. Journal of Social Issues, 63(2), 307–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Rimé, B., Philippot, P., Boca, S., & Mesquita, B. (1992). Long-lasting cognitive and social consequences of emotion: Social sharing and rumination. European Review of Social Psychology, 3(1), 225–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Ross, C. E. (2000). Neighborhood disadvantage and adult depression. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 41(2), 177–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Rotheram-Borus, M. J., & Trautman, P. D. (1988). Hopelessness, depression, and suicidal intent among adolescent suicide attempters. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 27(6), 700–704.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Seginer, R. (2008). Future orientation in times of threat and challenge: How resilient adolescents construct their future. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 32, 272–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. SFO. (2015). Mobility and transport. Neuchâtel: Swiss Federal Statistical Office.Google Scholar
  67. Utsey, S. O., Hook, J. N., Fischer, N., & Belvet, B. (2008). Cultural orientation, ego resilience, and optimism as predictors of subjective well-being in African americans. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 3(3), 202–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Velting, D. M. (1999). Personality and negative expectancies: Trait structure of the beck hopelessness scale. Personality and Individual Differences, 26(5), 913–921.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Wetzel, R. D., Margulies, T., Davis, R., & Karam, E. (1980). Hopelessness, depression, and suicide intent. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 33(9), 1069–1073.Google Scholar
  70. Zhang, J., & Li, Z. (2013). The association between depression and suicide when hopelessness is controlled for. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 54(7), 790–796.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Zimbardo, P. G., & Boyd, J. N. (1999). Putting time in perspective: A valid reliable individual-differences metric. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77(6), 1271–1288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Swiss Centre of Competence in Research LIVESUniversity of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations