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The Role of Hope and Optimism on Graduate Students' Academic Performance, Physical Health and Well-Being
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Graduate school is a challenging time period in terms of dealing with the academic and life stressors that are unique to graduate students. Many students enrolled in graduate school, particularly doctoral students, do not complete their programs. The current investigation sought to extend previous research on hope and optimism by examining their roles in student outcomes in a diverse sample of graduate students. Findings have implications for identifying factors that may be associated with student attrition rate. In this non-experimental quantitative research study, 358 graduate students voluntarily participated by completing an online survey. The findings suggest that hope and optimism support better academic and healthy functioning to some extent. Based on the results, hope might be a more adaptive personality variable than optimism with regard to students’ academic functioning. A high degree of hope was associated with a higher belief in personal ability to accomplish academic tasks, which in turn predicted a higher overall GPA. A high degree of hope also accounted for significant variance in predicting students’ self-perceived graduation. By contrast, optimism was found to be a relevant individual difference variable in predicting self-perceived physical health. Students high in optimism, not hope, reported significantly less concerns with their physical health. With regard to subjective well-being, hopeful and optimistic students were found to be equally satisfied with their life.
Cankaya, Elif Merve (2016). The Role of Hope and Optimism on Graduate Students' Academic Performance, Physical Health and Well-Being. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from