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Hope and Optimism: Latent Structures and Influences on Grade Expectancy and Academic Performance


concerning this article should be addressed to Kevin L. Rand, Department of Psychology, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, 402 North Blackford Street, LD 120E Indianapolis, IN 46202-3275. E-mail:


ABSTRACT A synthesized model of trait hope (Snyder 1994, 2002) and trait optimism (Scheier & Carver, 1985) is proposed. In this model hope and optimism are conceptualized as facets of an overarching trait called goal attitude. Structural equation modeling is used to test the plausibility of the proposed model in a sample of 345 students in a university psychology course who completed the Adult Hope Scale (Snyder et al., 1991) and the Life Orientation Test–Revised (Scheier, Carver, & Bridges, 1994). The proposed model shows acceptable fit to the observed data. The synthesized model is used to examine the unique and common influences of hope and optimism on grade expectancy and academic performance in 312 students who completed the course. The results show that hope uniquely influenced students' grade expectancies, whereas optimism did not. In turn, grade expectancies influenced academic performance. Neither hope nor optimism had a unique, direct influence on academic performance. In contrast, the shared aspect of hope and optimism (i.e., goal attitude) had a direct influence on academic performance.