Hope as an Outcome Variable Among Youths in a Residential Care Setting


For reprints and correspondence: Michael L. Handwerk, PhD, Clinical Services & Research, 13603 Flanagan Boulevard, Boys Town, NE 68010. E-mail: handwerkm@girlsandboystown.org


This study investigated changes in hope among 155 youths (ages 10 to 17 years) placed in a residential treatment facility over a 6–month period. The child and adolescent participants met criteria for a range of emotional and behavioral disorders and received interventions hypothesized to improve hopeful thinking. Hope scores significantly improved over 6 months of treatment. The positive changes in hope were not moderated by ethnicity or sex. For Agency hope scores (i.e., willpower), those with higher levels of psychopathology at admission demonstrated significantly more improvement in agency thinking over the course of 6 months.