Validation of a Subjective Helplessness Measure

Dennis M. Donovan, Michael R. OLeary, R. Dale Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Investigated the potential utility and validity of a measure of subjective helplessness, the H25. Helplessness is defined as the degree to which the individual perceives him/herself to be unable to influence or control the initiation and outcome of a variety of potentially reinforcing activities. Alcoholic subjects were classified into three levels of self-reported helplessness. An initial multivariate analysis of variance indicated that the groups differed with respect to severity level across a number of dimensions of depressive symptomatology, with the High Helplessness group appearing significantly more depressed on each of the measures than Low Helplessness subjects. Subsequent analyses supported the construct validity of the H25. Those measures found to be most descriminating between groups and most predictive of the level of helplessness reflected a dimension of behavioral retardation consistent with the motivational dificits noted in the learned helplessness model. Recommendations for the future validation of individual difference measures of helplessness are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-467
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Personality Assessment
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1979
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Validation of a Subjective Helplessness Measure'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this