Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Department

Psychology

Sub-Department

School Psychology

First Advisor

E. Scott Huebner

Second Advisor

Kimberly J. Hills

Abstract

In the past decade, psychology has concentrated on the importance of identifying psychological qualities in individuals that indicate positive mental health and flourishing. Hope has been proposed to be one of these qualities (Day, Hanson, Maltby, Proctor, & Wood, 2010; Marques, & Lopez, 2014). This study examined the relations among parental attachment, stressful life events, personality variables, and hope in a sample of 647 middle school students from one middle school in a Southeastern US state. The results showed statistically significant correlations between hope and all four predictor variables as well as students’ grade levels and socioeconomic status (SES). The results of a hierarchical multiple regression analysis further revealed that after controlling for grade level and SES, the personality variable of neuroticism accounted for significant variance in middle school students’ hope scores. Furthermore, parent attachment levels accounted for significant variance in hope scores over and above the demographic variables of grade and SES as well as extraversion scores. Contrary to expectations, students’ levels of neuroticism did not moderate the relation between stressful life events and hope. The frequency of stressful life events inversely associated with middle school students’ hope regardless of neuroticism levels. Implications of the results of the study are discussed.

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