Beck Hopelessness scale

Beck Hopelessness scale

Beck Hopelessness scale

Name Beck Hopelessness scale

It designed to measure three major aspects of hopelessness: feelings about the future, loss of motivation, and expectations

Population age 17-80
Score A total scale  score
Time 5-10 minutes
Author Dr. Aaron T. Beck
Publisher San Antonio, Tex. : Psychological Corp. ; New York : Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1993, ©1988

The Beck Hopelessness Scale provides a self-report measure of one’s negative expectations regarding the future. It consists of 20 true-false items arrayed within three factors: Feelings about the future, loss of motivation, and future expectations.


The total BHS score is a sum of item responses and can range from 0 to 20 such that higher scores reflect higher levels of hopelessness. Scores ranging from: 0 to 3 as are considered within the normal range, 4 to 8 identify mild hopelessness, scores from 9 to 14 identify moderate hopelessness, and scores greater than 14 identify severe hopelessness

Reliability and Validity

The BHS moderately correlates with the Beck Depression Inventory, although research shows that the BDI is better suited for predicting suicidal ideation behavior. The internal reliability coefficients are reasonably high (Pearson r= .82 to .93 in seven norm groups), the BHS test-retest reliability coefficients are modest (.69 after one week and .66 after six weeks.


The normative sample consisted of 294 psychiatric inpatients who had made recent suicide attempts. This sample included 125 men and 169 women. Of the total sample, 150 were white, 139 were black, and 5 belonged to other racial groups. The average age was 29.9 years. On average, the participants had finished 10.85 years of school. As to marital status, 41.5% were single, 17.3% were married, 31.6% were separated or divorced, 2.7% were widowed. and the rest were unmarried but living together or of unknown status

Suggested Uses

It is useful for predicting eventual suicide, useful in clinical and research settings to measure negative attitudes

Prepared by

Namra Sarwar

December 1, 2015 / by / in ,
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