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AIDS Behav. 2017 Jul;21(7):2156-2166. doi: 10.1007/s10461-016-1523-6.

Hope Matters: Developing and Validating a Measure of Future Expectations Among Young Women in a High HIV Prevalence Setting in Rural South Africa (HPTN 068).

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Department of Health Behavior, UNC Chapel Hill, 331 Rosenau Hall, CB #7440, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599, USA.
Department of Health Behavior, UNC Chapel Hill, 331 Rosenau Hall, CB #7440, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599, USA.
MRC/Wits Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit (Agincourt), School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
School of Health, University of New England, Armidale, Australia.
Department of Epidemiology, UNC Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.


Hope is a future expectancy characterized by an individual's perception that a desirable future outcome can be achieved. Though scales exist to measure hope, they may have limited relevance in low resource, high HIV prevalence settings. We developed and validated a hope scale among young women living in rural South Africa. We conducted formative interviews to identify the key elements of hope. Using items developed from these interviews, we administered the hope scale to 2533 young women enrolled in an HIV-prevention trial. Women endorsed scale items highly and the scale proved to be unidimensional in the sample. Hope scores were significantly correlated with hypothesized psycholosocial correlates with the exception of life stressors. Overall, our hope measure was found to have excellent reliability and to show encouraging preliminary indications of validity in this population. This study presents a promising measure to assess hope among young women in South Africa.


HIV; Hope; Scale development; South Africa; Young women

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