Validation of the children’s hope scale amongst a sample of adolescents in the Western Cape Region of South Africa
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A growing body of research has provided evidence for the cognitive-motivational construct of hope as a psychological strength, particularly for adolescents confronted with ensuing adverse conditions. Given the dearth of research on hope in South Africa, the aim of the current study was to validate Snyder’s Children’s Hope Scale within this context. A cross sectional survey design was used to collect data from a sample of 1022 adolescents between the ages of 13 and 16 (449 males and 573 females) attending high schools within the Western Cape geographical region of South Africa. The sample was selected using a two-stage stratified random sampling protocol, with socio-economic status (low, medium and high) as the defining variable. Data were collected using Snyder’s (1997) Children’s Hope Scale which was adapted to the South African context and translated into Afrikaans. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to analyse the data. The results indicate good fit indices for the overall model with two error co-variances (x2 =35.692; df=7; p=0.00; CFI=0.984; RMSEA=0.063; SRMR=0.023). Multi-group analysis with constrained factor loadings and intercepts show good fit across socio-economic status groups which indicate that these groups can be compared by correlations, regressions and means. The overall findings suggest that the Children’s Hope Scale is an appropriate measure for use in the South African context.