This study examines age differences in hope, from age 15 to 80years, and the short-term stability of hope using longitudinal data collected from 1453 Portuguese participants. Hope levels were higher in the middle adult groups than in the adolescent, emerging adult and older adult groups, and reached a peak between early-middle adulthood (ages 30–45) and late-middle adulthood (ages 46–64). Marital status and educational levels were examined as potential moderators of both hope levels and stability of hope. Results indicated that the most hopeful person may be a married adult between the ages of 30–64. Hope rank-order stability over a 1-year interval was moderate in the middle adolescent and early adult groups, showed a peak stability occurring from 30 to 45years of age, and was lower in old age than in the younger age groups. Together, these findings suggest that hope is relatively stable across time and the lifespan. Implications for our understanding of developmental trajectories of hope and how best to intervene to promote hope are discussed.
Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology – Elsevier
Published: Nov 1, 2017
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