Hopelessness has many negative consequences in society; weapon carrying at school, partner violence, anxiety, depression, self-directed violence, addiction, and more. Let’s take an in depth look at the research:
- Hopelessness is the leading predictor of suicide, and more closely associated with suicide than depression. “Hope is the bedrock of getting out of suicidal states,” says Jon G. Allen, The Menninger Clinic (APA, 2013)
- Hopelessness is predictive of both loneliness and suicidality, and there is no relation between loneliness and suicidality beyond hopelessness (Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior, 1996)
- Primary predictors of suicide include hopelessness and depression. (Association of Physicians, 2004).
- Suicide is the leading cause of death, globally, for teen girls (World Health Organization, 2008)
- Suicide rates in young girls ages 10-14 are increasing faster than boys, closing the gap (Jama, 2019)
- 1 out of 9 students are self-reporting suicide attempts before graduating high school, with 40% of them in grade school (Journal of Adolescent Health, 2011)
- There are direct effects of depression and hopelessness on suicidal behaviors for males, and direct effects of hopelessness, but not depression, for females. For both males and females, anxiety was directly linked to depression and hopelessness; drug involvement had both direct and indirect effects on suicidal behavior (Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior, 2005)
- In a recent study, 36% of adolescent girls in the US self-reported depression before graduating high school, 25% of girls in UK before age 14, and 70% of US teens age 13-17 said that anxiety and depression is the most critical issue facing themselves or their peers (Pew Research Center, 2019)
- A review of opelessness and risky behaviour among adolescents living in high-poverty inner-city neighbourhoods idicated the following (Journal of Adolescence, 2003):
- Adolescents react to their uncertain futures by abandoning hope, leading them to engage in high levels of risk behaviour.
- Of 2468 inner-city adolescents surveyed, nearly 50% of males and 25% of females had moderate or severe feelings of hopelessness.
- delinquent behavior
- weapon carrying on school property
- all forms of self-directed violence.
The good news? Through our program Hopeful Minds, we finding that Hope is teachable. And higher Hope corresponds to greater emotional and psychological well-being, greater academic performance, and enhanced personal relationships (Snyder, 2003). Research suggests that Hope is teachable (Rand and Cheavens, 2008), and that the greater the hope, the greater the level of well-being (Scioli, 2009).S