This paper explores an emerging construct: relationship hope. I define relationship hope as when individuals feel that regardless of the current quality of the relationship, there is significant hope for the relationship in the future if they keep working on it. The Relationship Hope Scale (RHS) is a new five-item scale that measures this construct. I evaluated the psychometric properties of RHS with Classical Test Theory (CTT) and Item Response Theory (IRT). I used a nationally representative sample of married individuals, ages 25-50 years old, in the United States. I found that RHS performs well in both CTT and IRT analyses, that we can assume measurement invariance between genders and first and second (or more) marriages, and that the mean levels of relationship hope do not differ by demographic variables like education, race, and income level. I also found that the RHS discriminates well between individuals that have thought about divorce a few times, several times, a lot of times, or not at all. These findings on relationship hope have valuable implications for relationship education, therapy, and future research because relationship hope measures a concept of change and potentiality.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Marriage, Family, and Human Development
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Erickson, Sage Elizabeth, "Got Hope? Measuring the Construct of Relationship Hope with a Nationally Representative Sample of Married Individuals" (2015). Theses and Dissertations. 5322.
hope, relationship education, evaluation