Children’s Conceptions of Hopefulness and Hopelessness
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This study investigated thought patterns about hope and hopelessness in a non-clinical sample of late-elementary school-aged children. Forty third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students were read a story about two children, one of whom had hopeful patterns of thinking and the other of whom had hopeless patterns of thinking about a stressful life event. The child participants were then engaged in a brief semi-structured interview about the fictional children. They also responded to Kadzin et al.’s 1986 “Hopelessness Scale for Children.” To date, no study has systematically gathered qualitative data on children’s thoughts regarding hope and hopelessness. The results indicated that the majority of the children believed hopeful or hopeless feelings were subject to change, though fewer thought the hopeless feelings would change. Nearly all of the children saw the hopeful child as being the happier child, but most children did not think such feelings would translate into behavior.
Franklin and Marshall College Archives, Undergraduate Honors Thesis 2008
- F&M Theses Collection