Influence of hope, social support, and self-esteem in early stage dementia

Valerie T. Cotter, Elizabeth W. Gonzalez, Kathleen Fisher, Kathy C. Richards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: People in the early stages of dementia adjust to the illness through stages of awareness, coping, and evaluation. Studies have found that hope, social support, and self-esteem facilitate coping, adjustment, and adaptation in chronic illness. Objective: The purpose of this descriptive study was to examine the relationships between hope, social support, and self-esteem in individuals with early stage dementia. Methods: Data were obtained from 53 individuals with early stage dementia. The scores on the Herth Hope Index, Social Support Questionnaire Short-Form, and the State Self-Esteem Scale were analyzed using linear regression. Results: Hope was moderately associated with self-esteem (r =.49, p <.001). Hope accounted for 25% of the variance in self-esteem and was a key component in predicting self-esteem. No significant relationship was found between social support and self-esteem. Conclusion: Findings suggest that hope may be an important factor to help individuals manage potential threats to self-esteem in the experience of early stage dementia. Strategies to inspire hope and then enhance self-esteem are promising for individuals living with early stage dementia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-224
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018


  • coping
  • dementia
  • hope
  • self-concept
  • social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences


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