Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Effect of Automatic Thoughts on Hopelessness: Role of Self-Esteem as a Mediator

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Effect of Automatic Thoughts on Hopelessness: Role of Self-Esteem as a Mediator

Article excerpt

Individuals' automatic thoughts and beliefs have been the subject of focus in numerous cognition approaches (Beck, Freeman, & Davis, 2004), and various studies have shown that cognition has an effect on emotion and behavior (Gladding, 2013; Tursi & Cochran, 2006; White & Freeman, 2000). In general, automatic thoughts are the inner dialogues regarding an individual, his/her world, and the future (Beck, 2001; Beck et al., 2004; Corey, 2008), while hopelessness concerning individuals' cognitive structures (Corey, 2008; Dinçer & Derelioglu, 2005) reflects negative expectations regarding the future (Abbey, 2006; Beck, 2001, 2005). In addition, hopelessness is a condition associated with self-esteem (Henkel, Bussfeld, Möller, & Hegerl, 2002), and high self-esteem serves as a buffer (Metalsky, Joiner, Hardin, & Abramson, 1993) that provides protection against the onset of hopelessness (Baumeister, Campbell, Krueger, & Vohs, 2003). Conversely, low self-esteem is related to negative expectations in the future (Beck et al., 2004), and it has a negative effect on individuals' senses (Elman, 2002).

In the concerned literature, it has been pointed out that an increase in hopelessness can have a negative effect not only on individuals themselves (Durak, 1994) but also on their problem-solving skills, self-esteem, physical health, self-confidence, learned helplessness (Güler, 2005), gender and class level (Oguztürk, Akça, & Sahin, 2011; Sengül & Güner, 2012), income (Tümkaya, 2005), and productivity and success (Sengül & Güner, 2012). Hopelessness can also cause depression (Ceyhan, 2004; Çelikel-Çam & Erkorkmaz, 2008; O'Connor, Berry, Weiss, & Gilbert, 2000; Palmeri & Connelly, 2005; Yerlikaya, 2006), cognitive distortions (Beck et ak, 2004; Corey, 2008), and in extreme cases, it can also lead to suicide (Heisel, Flett, & Lewitt, 2003; O'Connor et ak, 2000; Palmeri & Connelly, 2005; Yerlikaya, 2006). Moreover, various studies have focused on the levels of hopelessness in younger individuals (Erkan, Özbay, Cihangir-Çankaya, & Terzi, 2012; Kazgan, 2006; Özmen, Erbay, Çetinkaya, Ta§km, & Özmen, 2008; Sahin, 2009; Yazici, 2003) as well as different variables that affect university students in Turkey (Agir, 2007; Aras, 2011; Ceyhan, 2004; Çelikel-Çam & Erkorkmaz, 2008; Dereli & Kabatas, 2009; Oguztürk et ak, 2011; Özçelik, Aktas, & Ocakçi, 2014; Sahin, 2009; Sengül & Güler, 2012; Tekin & Filiz, 2008; Uçaner & Özçelik, 2010; Üngüren & Ehtiyar, 2009).

In the theoretical model of the present study, it is assumed that, based on the direct relationship between self-esteem and hopelessness and automatic thoughts, self-esteem can predict the effect of automatic thoughts on hopelessness. In addition, students' hopelessness can vary depending on the levels of self-esteem. Based on this assumption, the accuracy of the model in this study is tested (using structural equation modeling) in order to determine whether self-esteem serves as a mediator between university students' automatic thoughts and levels of hopelessness. Although the aforementioned studies focused on the direct relationship between hopelessness and the involved variables, the present study begins with the viewpoint in which there may be different tacit and instrumental variables in the relationship between self-esteem and hopelessness and automatic thoughts.

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to examine the role of self-esteem as a mediator between university students' automatic thoughts and their levels of hopelessness.

Method

Research Model

This study, which explores the direct and indirect relationships between university students' automatic thoughts and levels of hopelessness, includes the characteristics of descriptive research in the screening model. In addition, the theoretical model developed for explaining the role of university students' self-esteem as a mediator between automatic thoughts and hopelessness is tested using structural equation modeling. …

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