Paper in European Journal of Psychological Assessment
- Szabó, M., Mészáros, V., Sallay, J., Ajtay, G., Boross, V., Udvardy-Mészáros, À., Vizin, G., Perczel-Forintos, D. (2016). The beck hopelessness scale; specific factors of method effects. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 32 (2) pp. 111-118.
The aim of the present study was to examine the construct and cross-cultural validity of the Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS; Beck, Weissman, Lester, & Trexler, 1974). Beck et al. applied exploratory Principal Components Analysis and argued that the scale measured three specific components (affective, motivational, and cognitive). Subsequent studies identified one, two, three, or more factors, highlighting a lack of clarity regarding the scale's construct validity. In a large clinical sample, we tested the original three-factor model and explored alternative models using both confirmatory and exploratory factor analytical techniques appropriate for analyzing binary data. In doing so, we investigated whether method variance needs to be taken into account in understanding the structure of the BHS. Our findings supported a bifactor model that explicitly included method effects. We concluded that the BHS measures a single underlying construct of hopelessness, and that an incorporation of method effects consolidates previous findings where positively and negatively worded items loaded on separate factors. Our study further contributes to establishing the cross-cultural validity of this instrument by showing that BHS scores differentiate between depressed, anxious, and nonclinical groups in a Hungarian population.