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Publication Title

Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology







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Guilford Press


Structural equation modeling was used to test hypotheses about (a) the dimensionality of measures of dispositional hope (the Adult Hope Scale, AHS) and dispositional optimism (the Life Orientation Test, LOT), (b) the extent and source of conceptual overlap and divergence between hope and optimism, and (c) patterns of discriminant validity for each trait. Separate two-factor models best fit the hope (Agency and Pathways, r = .68) and optimism (Optimism and Pessimism, r = -.63) data. Analyzing the combined AHS and LOT data, a measurement model with separate, correlated second-order factors of Hope and Optimism ( r = .80) provided a better fit than did a higher-order model with a single second-order factor. Optimism correlated equally with both Agency and Pathways, whereas Pessimism was more strongly correlated with Agency than with Pathways. Confirming hypotheses, second-order Optimism had a stronger influence on the use of positive reappraisal as a coping strategy than did second-order Hope, whereas second-order Hope had a stronger influence on level of general self-efficacy than did second-order Optimism. We suggest that hope focuses more directly on the personal attainment of specific goals, whereas optimism focuses more broadly on the expected quality of future outcomes in general.


Distinguishing Hope and Optimism: Two Sides of a Coin, or Two Separate Coins?, Bryant, F. B., & Cvengros, J. A. 2004. Copyright Guilford Press. Reprinted with permission of The Guilford Press.

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