Hope is a future expectancy characterized by an individual's perception that a desirable future outcome can be achieved. Though scales exist to measure hope, they may have limited relevance in low resource, high HIV prevalence settings. We developed and validated a hope scale among young women living in rural South Africa. We conducted formative interviews to identify the key elements of hope. Using items developed from these interviews, we administered the hope scale to 2533 young women enrolled in an HIV-prevention trial. Women endorsed scale items highly and the scale proved to be unidimensional in the sample. Hope scores were significantly correlated with hypothesized psycholosocial correlates with the exception of life stressors. Overall, our hope measure was found to have excellent reliability and to show encouraging preliminary indications of validity in this population. This study presents a promising measure to assess hope among young women in South Africa.
Keywords: HIV; Hope; Scale development; South Africa; Young women.