Graduate School of Nursing Dissertations

Publication Date


Document Type

Dissertation, Doctoral


Graduate School of Nursing

Dissertation Committee Chair

Carol Bova


hope, emotional well-being, college students, substance use, sexual risk taking behavior, core self-evaluations

Subject Categories

Educational Psychology | Health Psychology | Higher Education | Mental and Social Health | Nursing | Psychiatry and Psychology


Objective: To examine the relationship between hope, core self-evaluations, physical function, emotional well-being, health risk behaviors, and academic performance in freshman enrolled in their first year of college.

Participants: Freshman (N = 495) attending a large public university in the Northeast completed an online survey between February 1 to February 13, 2017.

Methods: Cross sectional descriptive survey. Linear regression, path analysis, and structural equation modeling procedures were performed.

Results: Core self-evaluations mediated the relationship between hope and emotional well-being and academic performance. Contrary to the hypotheses, higher hope predicted more sexual risk taking behaviors and alcohol use.

Conclusions: Core self-evaluations is an important component of hope theory. Hope Theory is useful for predicting emotional well-being, and academic performance, but not as useful for predicting drug use, alcohol use, and sexual risk taking. Hope and core self evaluations interventions are needed to improve academic performance and emotional well-being in university freshman.


Material from this dissertation has been published in: (1) Griggs S. Hope and Mental Health in Young Adult College Students: An Integrative Review. J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 2017 Feb 1;55(2):28-35. doi: 10.3928/02793695-20170210-04. Review. PubMed PMID: 28218927; and (2) Griggs S, Crawford SL. Hope, Core Self-Evaluations, Emotional Well-Being,Health-Risk Behaviors, and Academic Performance in University Freshmen. J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 2017 Sep 1;55(9):33-42. doi:10.3928/02793695-20170818-11. PubMed PMID: 28850649.

Rights and Permissions

Copyright is held by the author, with all rights reserved.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.