Predicting hopelessness: The interaction between optimism/pessimism and specific future expectancies

O'Connor, R. C. and Cassidy, C. (2007) Predicting hopelessness: The interaction between optimism/pessimism and specific future expectancies. Cognition and Emotion, 21(3), pp. 596-613. (doi: 10.1080/02699930600813422)

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Improving our understanding of hopelessness is central to suicide prevention. This is the first study to investigate whether generalised expectancies for the future (optimism/pessimism) and specific future-oriented cognitions (future thinking) interact to predict hopelessness and dysphoria. To this end, participants completed measures of future thinking, optimism/pessimism and affect at Time 1 and measures of affect and stress at Time 2, 10–12 weeks later. Results indicated that changes in hopelessness but not dysphoria were predicted by the interaction between positive future thinking (but not negative future thinking), optimism/pessimism and stress beyond initial levels of hopelessness and dysphoria. Additional moderating analyses are also reported. These findings point to the fruits of integrating personality and cognitive processes, to better understand hopelessness.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:O'Connor, Professor Rory
Authors: O'Connor, R. C., and Cassidy, C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:Cognition and Emotion
ISSN (Online):1464-0600
Published Online:18 April 2007

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