The Role of Hope
in Student Affairs
STAR-ND
JANUARY 22, 2013
CONNIE ADAMS, M.S.W.
DIRECTOR
BELLES AGAINST VIOLENCE OFFICE
SAINT MARY’S COLLEGE
Learning Objectives
Increase knowledge of hope theory
2. Recognize the positive impact of hope in regard to
goal attainment and overall well-being
3. Understand the implications of the level of hope
held by student affairs professionals in the
engagement and motivation of college students
4. Develop a better understanding of the potential
applications of hope for student affairs
professionals
1.
Motto of Holy Cross
Ave, Crux!
Spes Unica
Hail the cross!
Our only hope.
“This conviction that
the cross in whatever
form, can be a source
of life and hope [is]
an encouraging
message […]
Transformation is
always possible;
there is always cause
for hope.”
Giallanza, J. (2010). Praying from the heart of Holy Cross spirituality. Ave Maria Press.
The Power of Hope
 Research indicates that hope accounts for variance
over and above self-efficacy, optimism, and locus of
control with regard to:
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Pain tolerance
Problem-focused coping
Well-being
Mental health symptoms
Academic effort investment
Quality of life
Feldman, D. B., Rand, K. L., and Kahle-Wrobleski, K. (2009). Hope and goal attainment: Testing a basic prediction of hope theory.
Understanding Hope
 Optimism – a general outcome expectancy that good
things will happen
 Power of hope is “an untapped source of strength
and healing” (Menninger, 1959)
 Hope reflects a perception, not necessarily a reality
 Hope does not guarantee the attainment of goals
Snyder, C. R. (2002) Hope theory: Rainbows in the Mind. Psychological Inquiry 13: 4.; (Snyder, C.R. et al. (2002). Hope and
academic success in college. Journal of Educational Psychology 94:4.)
Hopeful Goals
 Four categories:
 Approach goals – moving toward a desired outcome
 Forestalling negative outcome goals – deterring or delaying
unwanted occurrences
 Maintenance goals – sustaining the status quo
 Enhancement goals – augmenting an already positive outcome
Cheavens, J.S. et al. (2006). Hope in cognitive psychotherapies on working with client strengths. Journal of Cognitive
Psychotherapy 20: 2.
Hope Theory
 Developed by Charles R. Snyder and colleagues
(1991)
 Definition: “The perceived capability to derive
pathways to desired goals, and motivate oneself via
agency thinking to use those pathways”
 Central tenet: “Hope drives successful goal pursuit
and attainment”
Feldman, D. B., Rand, K. L., and Kahle-Wrobleski, K. (2009). Hope and goal attainment: Testing a basic prediction of hope theory.
Hope Theory
 A positive motivational state that is based on an
interactively derived sense of successful goaldirected energy (agency) and planning to meet goals
(pathways) (Snyder, Irving, & Anderson, 1991)
Feldman, D. B., Rand, K. L., and Kahle-Wrobleski, K. (2009). Hope and goal attainment: Testing a basic prediction of hope theory.
Pathways and Agency Thinking
 Pathways – cognitive routes to goals
 Agency – “the thoughts that people have regarding
their ability to begin and continue movement on
selected pathways”
 Agency is a more influential component of hope
theory
Feldman, D. B., Rand, K. L., and Kahle-Wrobleski, K. (2009). Hope and goal attainment: Testing a basic prediction of hope theory.;
Snyder, C. R. (2002) Hope theory: Rainbows in the Mind. Psychological Inquiry 13: 4.
Hope Theory Model
Snyder, C. R. (2002) Hope theory: Rainbows in the Mind. Psychological Inquiry 13: 4.
 Hope and goal attainment reciprocally influence one
another
 Individuals adjust their hopes as they experience
success or failure
 Hope flourishes under probabilities of intermediate
goal attainment
 Emotions establish our position in relation to our
environment
Snyder, C. R. (2002) Hope theory: Rainbows in the Mind. Psychological Inquiry 13: 4.
Levels of Hope
Low-hope Persons
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Perpetuate negative self-talk
Experience negative emotions and
demonstrate apprehension toward
action
Will likely generate fewer goals
Difficulty selecting, prioritizing, and
articulating routes as well as producing
alternative routes
All or nothing thinking
Vague goals without clear markers
Become frustrated by goal pursuit
Slower to rebound if goal is not
attained
High-hope Persons
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Embrace agency self-talk
Enjoy goal pursuit and are energized by
challenges
Pursue goals with positive emotions
Quicker to reenergize
Will likely generate more goals
Able to articulate larger goals and subgoals to feasibly pursue attainment
Select good routes, especially in cases
involving stress and goal impediment
Can produce plausible alternative
routes
Able to draw from positive memories
Snyder, C. R. (2002) Hope theory: Rainbows in the Mind. Psychological Inquiry 13: 4.; Snyder, C. R. et al. (2003) Hope theory,
measurements, and applications to school psychology. School Psychology Quarterly, 18: 2.
The Impact of Hope
Research documents higher hope leads to:
 Better academic performance
 Better athletic performance
 Enhanced psychological adjustment
 Improved coping with physical illness
 Greater sense of life meaning
 Likelihood of finding benefit in adversity
Feldman, D. B., Rand, K. L., and Kahle-Wrobleski, K. (2009). Hope and goal attainment: Testing a basic prediction of hope theory.
Why is Hope Beneficial?
 Increases flexibility
 Supports persistence despite stressful conditions
 Improves ability to find and use multiple pathways
 Improves motivation level
 Increases likelihood to complete tasks and follow
through with commitments
 Improves ability to maintain focus
 Decreases self-deprecatory thinking and
counterproductive negative emotions
 Enhances views about interpersonal relationships
Snyder, C. R. (2002) Hope theory: Rainbows in the Mind. Psychological Inquiry 13: 4.
Hope versus Hopelessness
 Hopelessness – a system of negative expectancies
concerning one’s self and future
 According to Beck et al. (1974), “a system of cognitive schemas whose
common denomination is negative expectations about the future”
 Hope – positive outcome expectancies and individuals’
expectancies about whether or not they will be able to
influence these outcomes
Our Impact through Hope
Good news:
Hope is learned!
Snyder, C. R. (2002) Hope theory: Rainbows in the Mind. Psychological Inquiry 13: 4.
Question
and
Answer
Session
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