AHOPELESS reports responses to the question, "During the past 30 days, how often did you feel hopeless?"
AHOPELESS is one of a series of six variables whose responses can be summed as a scale measuring nonspecific psychological distress over a 30-day recall period. This scale, developed by Ronald C. Kessler and known as the Kessler 6 Scale (K6), asks about six manifestations of nonspecific psychological distress.
Kessler's instrument asks how often, during the past 30 days, the respondent felt:
- So sad that nothing could cheer you up? (ASAD)
- Nervous? (ANERVOUS)
- Restless or fidgety? (ARESTLESS)
- Hopeless? (AHOPELESS)
- That everything was an effort? (AEFFORT)
- Worthless? (AWORTHLESS)
As noted above, acceptable responses fell into five categories, ranging from "none of the time" to "all of the time."
Kessler recommends scoring the scale by assigning 0 to 4 points for each of these six questions, based on the reported frequency of the feelings (i.e., 0 for "none of the time"; 1 for "a little of the time"; 2 for "some of the time"; 3 for "most of the time"; and 4 for "all of the time"). The range for summed responses on the K6 Scale is thus 0 to 24, with 0 suggesting the lowest level of nonspecific psychological distress, and 24 suggesting the highest level of nonspecific psychological distress. According to the scoring criteria proposed by Kessler, persons with a score of 13 or greater are likely to be experiencing severe mental illness.
The summed score is reported in K6SUM.
Codes and Frequencies
ComparabilityThe comparability of this variable over time has not yet been assessed.
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