The Psychology of Hope

The Psychology of Hope

Hope Centered and Trauma Informed

Hope is a future expectation for goal attainment. Hope is comprised of three main tenants: goals, pathways, and agency.

Goals

Goals represent the cornerstone of hope theory as the endpoint to planned behavior. Goals that motivate behavior can exist in the short- or long-term, but must meet certain criteria: potentially attainable, clearly articulated, and measurable. Motivated behavior requires the capacity to identify one or more viable pathways to goal attainment.

Pathways

Pathways represent a mental road map allowing us to consider multiple strategies that will lead to the desired outcome. Viable pathways are within the person’s capacity to pursue and are developed with a plan of success. In this manner, the hopeful people can identify potential barriers with workable solutions or possess the capacity to change to alternative pathways when needed. Hopeful people will generate multiple pathways toward their goal pursuits. Comparatively, lower hope people experience difficulty in managing barriers and in their ability to develop alternative pathways.

Agency

Agency represents the goal-directed motivational thinking for hope theory. Agency refers to the capacity to exert mental energy (willpower) to the pursuit of pathway. Hopeful individuals are able to exhibit self-control, regulating beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors during goal pursuits especially while experiencing stress and adversity.

Hope as a Psychological Strength

We are interested in both the science and power of hope as a psychological strength especially among those experiencing trauma and adversity. Three questions guide our work:

  1. Does hope buffer adversity and stress?
  2. Do hopeful children and adults have better psychological, social, and behavioral outcomes?
  3. Can hope be increased and sustained by targeted interventions?
Scholarly Presentations

Scholarly Presentations

    1. Munoz, R., Worley, J., Hellman, C. & Quinton, K. (2016). Locus of hope: A structural equation model of external hope in parents/guardians as a driver of life satisfaction mediated by internal hope. Oral presentation Canadian Positive Psychology Conference. Ontario on the Lake, Ontario. June 15-17.
    2. Munoz, R., Hellman, C. M., & Quinton, K. (2016). Exploring life satisfaction as an antecedent of hope: Results of a two-wave cross-lagged panel analysis. Oral presentation Canadian Positive Psychology Conference. Ontario on the Lake, Ontario. June 15-17.
    3. Bragg, J., Munoz, R., & Brunk, K. (2016) Executive control of attention as a driver of flourishing mediated by hope: A structural equation model. Poster presentation Canadian Positive Psychology Conference. Ontario.
    4. Munoz, R. Hellman, C.M. & Bartholomew, B. (2016). Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) as a driver of lower Hope mediated by PTSD and anxiety. Oral presentation Canadian Positive Psychology Conference. Ontario on the Lake, Ontario. June 15-17.
    5. Bragg, J., Munoz, R., & Brunk, K. A partial least squares path model of mindfulness as a driver of hope. Poster presentation Society for Social Work Research National Conference, Washington, D.C. January 2016.
    6. Munoz, R., Quinton, K., Brunk, K., & Bragg, J. A partial least squares structural equation model of parental support as a driver of hope and life satisfaction among adolescent females. Poster presentation Society for Social Work Research National Conference, Washington, D.C. January 2016.
    7. Brunk, K, Munoz, R., & Bragg, J. The relationship between adverse childhood experiences and hope, depression, and anxiety. Poster presentation Society for Social Work Research National Conference, Washington, D.C. January 2016.
    8. Bragg, J, Miller-Cribbs, J, Munoz, R, Hellman, C. M., Gaudet, J, & Gordon, J. (2017). Self-Efficacy's Role in Building Hope. American Psychological Association Annual Convention. Washington D.C.
    9. Gwinn, C., & Hellman, C. M. (2016). Mitigating trauma and measuring our own hope. 16th Annual International Family Justice Center Conference. San Diego, CA
    10. Gwinn, C., Gwinn, K., & Hellman, C. M. (2016). Camp HOPE America: Changing the ending for high ACE score children. 16th Annual International Family Justice Center Conference. San Diego, CA
    11. Hellman, C. M. (2016). Nonprofits and community service providers as pathways of hope. The Science of Hope Conference. Foundation for Healthy Generations. Seattle, WA
    12. Munoz, R., Worley, J., Hellman, C. M. & Quinton, K. (2016). Locus of hope: A structural equation model of external hope in parents/guardians as a driver of life satisfaction mediated by internal hope. Canadian Positive Psychology Conference. Ontario.
    13. Munoz, R., Hellman, C. M., & Quinton, K. (2016). Exploring life satisfaction as an antecedent of hope: Results of a two-wave cross-lagged panel analysis. Canadian Positive Psychology Conference. Ontario.
    14. Munoz, R. Hellman, C.M. & Bartholomew, B. (2016). Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) as a Driver of Lower Hope Mediated by PTSD and Anxiety. Canadian Positive Psychology Conference. Ontario.
    15. Worley, J. A., Hellman, C. M., & Munoz, R. (2016). Flourishing, hope, and coping among women in transition. Canadian Positive Psychology Conference. Ontario.
Sample Grants & Contracts

Sample Grants and Contracts

Total External Funding Received (PI or Co-PI) as of February 1, 2017 is $1,745,838.

2017 – Alliance for Hope International -  Family Justice Center Hope Research ($52,000).
2017 – Dept. of Justice: Office of Victims of Crime – Polyvictimization, hope and healing ($166,884).
2016 – Charles & Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation – Pocket full of hope ($7,000).
2016 – Oklahoma SBIRT Training – Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration ($311,259).
2015 – Intensive Child-Focused Adoptive Parent Recruitment – State of Oklahoma (DHS: $30,254).


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