Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing



First Advisor

Hesook Suzie Kim


The purpose of this study was to: (a) investigate the relationships among the variables of self-esteem, social support and hopefulness in adolescent females, and (b) determine if significant differences exist between the hopefulness of pregnant and non-pregnant adolescent females

The framework for this study was derived from the literature and based on the concepts of self-esteem, social support, and hopefulness. Research suggests that social support and self-esteem are key constructs in predicting hopefulness towards the future and were selected as factors in constructing a theoretical framework for the explanation of adolescent hopefulness. The Symbolic Interactionist perspective provided the theoretical basis for the framework and is evident in the conceptualizations of self-esteem, social support, and adolescent hopefulness. Within this framework, the situation of adolescent pregnancy was taken as offering a specific context in which the explanation of hopefulness needed further elaboration. From this framework hypotheses were derived specifically to test with a sample of adolescent females.

This descriptive correlational study utilized a volunteer convenience sample of 149 female adolescents who responded to four questionnaires: Hinds' Hopefulness Scale for Adolescents, Rosenberg's Self-esteem Scale, Norbeck's Social Support Questionnaire, and a demographic and personal data questionnaire.

Data were analyzed using descriptive and multivariate statistical procedures. Findings included statistically significant positive relationships between social support (total functional support) and hopefulness, and social support and SES for the entire sample of adolescent females. T-tests revealed significant differences between the self-esteem, perceived social support, age and SES of the pregnant and non-pregnant subjects. Pregnant adolescent females were significantly older, reported significantly lower SES, and perceived social support, but significantly higher self-esteem. There were no significant differences between the hopefulness levels of the two groups. Multiple regression analysis indicated that of the variables included in the study social support was indicated to explain 3% of the variance in hopefulness while self-esteem explained none. While the framework provided direction, 97% of the variance in hopefulness remains unexplained leaving a wide range of potential variables untapped for future investigation.



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