Scale: Abbreviated version of the Hopeful Future Expectations (HFE) Scale
What it measures:
- A youth’s hopefulness or positive expectations about his or her future.
Intended age range: 10- to 18-year-olds.
Brief description: This scale consists of 4 items from the original 13-item HFE measure. Youth respond to the prompt: “Think about how you see your future. What are your chances for the following?” The 4 items are: “having friends you can count on,” “being healthy,” “being involved in helping other people,” and “being safe.” Response options are Very low, Low, About 50/50, High, or Very high.
Rationale: This measure was selected because of its brevity, evidence of reliability and validity, and assessment of expectations related to specific situations later in life.
Cautions: The abbreviated 4-item version of the HFE scale has been examined only in a single published study. However, results from that study are consistent with evidence of reliability and validity for the original 13-item version.
Special administration information: None. How to score: Each item is scored from 1 (Very low) to 5 (Very high). The total score is the average of all 4 items.
How to interpret findings: Higher scores on the HFE items reflect higher personal expectations that positive future outcomes will occur in one’s life.
Alternatives: Child Trends developed a measure of more general feelings of hope for youth from ages 12 to 17 years old. More information on this 3-item measure is available here.
Citation: Bowers, E. P., Geldhof, G. J., Schmid, K. L., Napolitano, C. M., Minor, K., & Lerner, J. V. (2012). Relationships with important nonparental adults and positive youth development: An examination of youth self-regulatory strengths as mediators. Research in Human Development, 9, 298–316. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15427609.2012.729911