Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology


Conceptually, hope has long been acknowledged in theological and psychological circles as central to human motivation and behavior. However, empirical investigations of hope are relatively recent. The two major objectives of this dissertation were: 1) to investigate the relationship between hope and subsequent behavioral outcomes, and 2) to address this subject area in such a way as to contribute to the integration of psychological and biblically theological constructs that pertain to hope, expectations and behavior change. Hope was operationalized as: "an expectation greater than zero of attaining a goal." Parallels between psychological and biblical perspectives were drawn in regard to: bases for hope; the process of building hope; and the role of hope. An empirical investigation of hope's relation to behavior change was carried out as well. The Hope Index Scale (HIS) was administered to subjects entering a quit smoking program. Rotter's Locus of Control Scale and the Spiritual Wellbeing Scale (SWB) were also administered. During treatment, daily measures of confidence of success and difficulty experienced in quitting were recorded. HIS scores were significantly correlated with quitting smoking (!:. = .30, £< .05) and remaining a nonsmoker for 8 months (£ = .43, £< .01). Internal locus of control was also significantly correlated with quitting (£ = .29, £< .05). Feedback about HIS scores given to persons in the low and average hope groups prior to treatment was associated with paradoxical increases in subsequent self-reports of confidence of quitting smoking by the end of treatment. Consistent with the literature, daily measures of expectancy of successful outcomes showed positive correlations with actual outcomes. The SWB manifested significant correlations with the HIS and internal locus of control. The implications of this study are: 1) hope is indeed a relevant factor in behavior change; 2) goalspecific expectancy measures taken during treatment are more predictive of outcome than those taken prior to, or early in treatment, however, a measure of generalized hope (HIS scores) appears to be a valuable pretreatment predictor of successful treatment; and 3) biblical and psychological constructs can be addressed in the same arena thereby contributing to the ongoing process of integration.

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