The aim of this paper was to confirm the factor structure of the 20-item Beck Hopelessness Scale in a non-clinical population. Previous research has highlighted a lack of clarity in its construct validity with regards to this population.
Based on previous factor analytic findings from both clinical and non-clinical studies, 13 separate confirmatory factor models were specified and estimated using LISREL 8.72 to test the one, two and three-factor models.
Psychology and medical students at Queen's University, Belfast (n = 581) completed both the BHS and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI).
All models showed reasonable fit, but only one, a four-item single-factor model demonstrated a nonsignificant chi-squared statistic. These four items can be used to derive a Short-Form BHS (SBHS) in which increasing scores (0-4) corresponded with increasing scores in the BDI. The four items were also drawn from all three of Beck's proposed triad, and included both positively and negatively scored items.
This study in a UK undergraduate non-clinical population suggests that the BHS best measures a one-factor model of hopelessness. It appears that a shorter four-item scale can also measure this one-factor model. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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