Hope and Mental Health in Young Adult College Students: An Integrative Review

J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 2017 Feb 1;55(2):28-35. doi: 10.3928/02793695-20170210-04.


One in five young adults are diagnosed with a mental illness and many experience psychological distress during their first year of college due to new pressures in academia. The purpose of the current integrative review was to describe and synthesize hope and mental health in young adults in college. PubMed, CINAHL, and PsycINFO were searched for articles published in peer-reviewed journals from 2011-2016. Twenty empirical works were selected for inclusion and five themes emerged: (a) Hope is Associated With Improved Coping, (b) Hope is Associated With Improved Well-Being, (c) Hope is a Moderator Between Depression and Negative Life Events, (d) Hope is a Protective Factor in Suicide, and (e) Hope is a Factor in Healthy Behavior Engagement. Hope may be a protective factor in suicide and negative, self-deprecatory thinking. Further research is needed to determine if increasing hope in young adult college students will decrease the risk of suicide and non-suicidal self-injury, increase healthy behavior engagement, and improve coping and well-being. [Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 55(2), 28-35.].

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Hope*
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Mental Health Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Mental Health*
  • Self-Injurious Behavior / prevention & control
  • Suicide / psychology
  • Suicide Prevention
  • Universities*