Children's Goals for the Future

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0022770/00001

Material Information

Title: Children's Goals for the Future Educational and Occupational Aspirations of Third Graders in Relationship to Hope Scores and Pathways Thought
Physical Description: 1 online resource (97 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Ohara-Jolley, Serene
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008


Subjects / Keywords: Teaching and Learning -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Elementary Education thesis, M.A.E.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: This study investigates the relationship between children's hope and their educational and occupational aspirations. Two questions were asked: Do children?s hope levels have a relationship to future educational and occupational goals? Do children have pathways formed for the attainment of future educational and occupational goals? The Children?s Hope Scale was administered to 28 third graders. Of these, twelve were identified as having either extremely high hope or extremely low hope according to the Children's Hope Scale. These twelve were interviewed using a structured interview protocol. Children's responses did not indicate a relationship between hope scores and pathways thinking. However, their hope levels did suggest connections to their future educational and occupational goals. The most striking difference between low hope and high hope participants was found in their agency. Low hope children could not think of anything they could do in the present to obtain their future goals. If hope is learned and hope affects agency and future outcomes, then hope should be taught. Longitudinal studies would indicate whether early indications of hope and agency impact career outcomes.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Serene Ohara-Jolley.
Thesis: Thesis (M.A.E.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Ross, Dorene D.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0022770:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0022770/00001

Material Information

Title: Children's Goals for the Future Educational and Occupational Aspirations of Third Graders in Relationship to Hope Scores and Pathways Thought
Physical Description: 1 online resource (97 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Ohara-Jolley, Serene
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008


Subjects / Keywords: Teaching and Learning -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Elementary Education thesis, M.A.E.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: This study investigates the relationship between children's hope and their educational and occupational aspirations. Two questions were asked: Do children?s hope levels have a relationship to future educational and occupational goals? Do children have pathways formed for the attainment of future educational and occupational goals? The Children?s Hope Scale was administered to 28 third graders. Of these, twelve were identified as having either extremely high hope or extremely low hope according to the Children's Hope Scale. These twelve were interviewed using a structured interview protocol. Children's responses did not indicate a relationship between hope scores and pathways thinking. However, their hope levels did suggest connections to their future educational and occupational goals. The most striking difference between low hope and high hope participants was found in their agency. Low hope children could not think of anything they could do in the present to obtain their future goals. If hope is learned and hope affects agency and future outcomes, then hope should be taught. Longitudinal studies would indicate whether early indications of hope and agency impact career outcomes.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Serene Ohara-Jolley.
Thesis: Thesis (M.A.E.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Ross, Dorene D.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0022770:00001

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2 2008 Serene Rose OHara-Jolley


3 To my father, who gave so many hope To Dustin, who gives me hope


4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Many indiv iduals helped to make this project possible. Mrs. Scott at Williams Elementary, Mr. Beckett and Paige Rozier at the One Room School House, and Talbot Elementary opened up their schools and classrooms. Words cannot express the depth of my gratit ude to my two advisors; these two women have changed my life profoundly. Dr. Pringle opened up a whole new world of possibilities to me and helped me to understand the power I a nd my students hold as cr eators of knowledge. Dr. Ross, without her this project would have never started in the first place. My mother, Grace OHara, the most amazi ng woman I have ever known. Everything I achieve is thanks to you. My sist er, Jerne Shapiro, for pushing me to achieve, believing that I could, and celebrating when I did. Dustin, there are no words to express how mu ch you have helped me. This thesis would not be legible if not for you. My heart would not ha ve felt up to the task if not for your love, and the growling of my stomach would have overt aken my thoughts if you had not filled my belly when I wouldnt stop writing.


5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4 LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................. ..........8 ABSTRACT.....................................................................................................................................9 CHAP TER 1 INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................................10 Statement of the Problem/Research Objectives...................................................................... 11 Delimitations and Limitations................................................................................................ 12 Significance of Study..............................................................................................................12 Definition of Terms................................................................................................................13 Review of Related Literature.................................................................................................. 13 Career Theory.........................................................................................................................14 Research....................................................................................................................... ...........18 The 1990s.......................................................................................................................18 Recent Research.............................................................................................................. 23 Where Are We Now?......................................................................................................26 Summary.................................................................................................................................28 Hope Theory...........................................................................................................................28 Overview of Hope Theory...............................................................................................29 The Trilogy: Goals, Agency, and Pathways...................................................................29 Development of Hopeful Thought...................................................................................32 Birth to three years of age............................................................................................... 32 Three to six years of age.................................................................................................. 34 Seven to twelve years of age........................................................................................... 35 Thirteen to eighteen years of age.....................................................................................35 Hopes Birth, Hopes Death............................................................................................36 The Childrens Hope Scale.............................................................................................. 38 Research on hope.....................................................................................................38 False hope.................................................................................................................43 Summary..........................................................................................................................44 2 PROCEDURES AND MET HODS OF ANALYSIS ............................................................. 45 Context....................................................................................................................................45 Setting of the Study................................................................................................................46 Population and Sample.......................................................................................................... .47 The Schools............................................................................................................................48 School One......................................................................................................................48 School Two......................................................................................................................48 School Three....................................................................................................................49


6 Sample Selection....................................................................................................................50 Methodology...........................................................................................................................52 The Childrens Hope Scale..................................................................................................... 52 Purpose............................................................................................................................52 Administration and Scoring............................................................................................. 53 Validation of the Instrument............................................................................................53 Reliability........................................................................................................................55 Procedures..................................................................................................................... ..........56 Administration of the Childrens Hope Scale................................................................. 56 Abnormalities in Administration of the Childrens Hope Scale..................................... 56 Interview About Childrens Future Goals.............................................................................. 57 Purpose of the Qualitative Interview............................................................................... 57 Development of the Interview......................................................................................... 58 Collection of Interview Data...........................................................................................59 Analysis....................................................................................................................... ...........60 Scoring the Childrens Hope Scale.................................................................................. 60 Interview Analysis........................................................................................................... 60 Presentation of the Research...................................................................................................61 3 RESULTS...............................................................................................................................62 Childrens Hope Scale.......................................................................................................... ..62 Interview..........................................................................................................................62 Goals................................................................................................................................63 Career Goals....................................................................................................................64 Emotional Goals ..............................................................................................................65 Material Goals.................................................................................................................66 Agency....................................................................................................................................67 Belief In An Ability To Achieve..................................................................................... 68 The First Push..................................................................................................................70 Agency Through-out the Journey....................................................................................70 Pathways.................................................................................................................................72 Discussion and Implications................................................................................................... 74 Goals................................................................................................................................74 Agency.............................................................................................................................76 Pathways..........................................................................................................................83 Implications................................................................................................................... .........85 Teachers...........................................................................................................................85 The Schools.....................................................................................................................86 Society.............................................................................................................................87 Implications for Future Research.................................................................................... 88 Conclusion..............................................................................................................................88 APPENDIX A TABLES.................................................................................................................................89


7 B INTERVIEW PROTOCOL AND CHILDRENS HOPE SCALE ........................................90 LIST OF REFERENCES...............................................................................................................93 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.........................................................................................................97


8 LIST OF TABLES Table page A-1 Hope Scores and Demographics by School....................................................................... 89A-2 Hope Scores by School......................................................................................................89A-3 Measures of Central Tendancy by School......................................................................... 89A-4 Participants Goals and Agency.......................................................................................... 89


9 Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Ma ster of Arts in Education CHILDRENS GOALS FOR THE FUTURE: EDUCATIONAL AND OCCUPATIONAL ASPIRATIONS OF THIRD GRADERS IN RELATIONSHIP TO HOPE SCORES AND PATHWAYS THOUGHT By Serene Rose OHara-Jolley December 2008 Chair: Dorene Ross Major: Elementary Education This study investigates the re lationship between childrens h ope and their educational and occupational aspirations. Two questions were asked: Do childrens hope levels have a relationship to future educational and occupationa l goals? Do children have pathways formed for the attainment of future educational and o ccupational goals? The Childrens Hope Scale was administered to 28 third graders. Of these, twelve were identified as having either extremely high hope or extremely low hope according to the Childrens Hope Scale. These twelve were interviewed using a structured interview prot ocol. Childrens respons es did not indicate a relationship between hope scores and pathways thinking. However, their hope levels did suggest connections to their future educational and occupational goals. The most striking difference between low hope and high hope participants was found in their agency. Low hope children could not think of anything they could do in the present to obtain their future goals. If hope is learned and hope affects agency and future ou tcomes, then hope should be taught. Longitudinal studies would indicate whether early indications of hope and agency impact career outcomes.


10 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The hallways and classroom s of our nation s schools are plastere d with motivational phrases. Children in some low performing sc hools chant mantras every morning proclaiming they can succeed. We ask them to dream; we impl ore them to give educa tion their all. We ask them to hope. We do not, however, show them how to hope or what to hope for. We make them proclaim their worth when other children just take that fact for granted. We tell them they are valued as in some schools the ceilings fall in, the books disappear and the teachers give up.(Kozol, 2004) Children today in our schools ar e being told to hope, without any guidance or examples of what hope looks lik e or what it feels like to hope. There is in todays schools a huge push to close the achievement gap. This gap is mostly along racial lines, but so cial class and other demographic fa ctors play important roles. The statistics today are bleak in th e world of education. High school attrition rates are reaching over 80% in some urban districts. The majority of African American students in sixth grade are reading below a fourth-grade level. SAT scores are declining in some states, and all of this is happening as the competition to get into college becomes more and more intense. Educational attainment is clearly linked to wages and occupational attainment in our society. If a certain segment of the population is being excluded from high quality educati on, it is also in turn being excluded from future occupation choices. The factors in place affecting childrens educ ation are far beyond the scope of any one study. This study will attempt to shed light on one small aspect of educational outcomes. Specifically this study aims to see if there is a relationship between childrens hope scores and their educational and occupational outcomes. It has been suggested by current research that hope


11 is learned. This study aims to investigate the ro le that hope plays in childrens educational and occupational choices. This study attempts to bring two areas of research together: hope th eory and career theory. Hope levels have significant bearing on future educational attainment and both mental and physical health. Educational attain ment is linked to occupational attainment. Therefore one of the roles of school is to adequately prepare student s for occupational attainme nt. It is the schools role to educate those in its ch arge, to prepare the young for active citizenship. Hope theory gives us a theoretical and measurable lens on Hope. What is hope? Hope can be broken down into very measurable parts. Hope is a positive motivational state that is based on an interactively derived sense of successful (a) agency (goaldirected energy), and (b) pathways (planni ng to meet those goal s) (Snyder, 2002, p. 250). Simply put, to have hope one must have goals. On e also must have the motivation to get started and a pathway to get there. The current study aims to look at hope and it s relationship to educat ional and occupational outcomes. The factors that affect a childs ultimate outcome in life are multiple and diverse. Hopefully this study will begin to shed light on what teachers can do in the classroom to help build hopefully thinking in their students. Statement of the Problem/Research Objectives The purpose of this stud y is to investigate wh at children hope their fu tures will be like in respect to educational and occupational aspiratio ns. This study was also designed to evaluate childrens understand ing of careers, and their planning for ac hieving their stated educational and occupational goals. Specifically, the study is designed to answer two questions: 1. Do elementary childrens hope levels have a relationship to future educational and occupational goals?


12 2. Do elementary children have pathways formed for the attainment of future educational and occupational goals? Delimitations and Limitations Three schoo ls in the same district located in Florida were used in the present research study. They were chosen due to th eir descriptive statistics. The goal was to obtain a sample of third graders that mirrored the demographics of the community at larg e. One school, where the majority of students were African American and eligible for free or reduced lunch, was chosen. A second school was chosen because the majority of its students were Caucasian and did not qualify for free or reduced lunch. A third school was chosen because of two of its characteristics. The schools racial population was almost equa l between African American and Caucasian students. The school was a charter school and alt hough it had the majority of its students eligible for free or reduced lunch the charter school was c hosen as a control for SES. In order to be a student at the school you had to be specially enrolled by a parent or guardian, and transportation to and from school was the sole responsibility of students and their fa milies. Therefore, each child had to have an adult in his/her life that was active in its educational decisions. The research shows that children who have a caregiver that who takes an active interest in their education have better outcomes. The Charter schoo l was chosen to see if the p opulation at this school which mirrored the demographics of the low SES school, might have higher hope scores. Significance of Study This study is an opportunity to bring two bodies of research to gether. Hope theory has been most commonly discussed as a m easurable quality in medicine and psychology. Career theory on the other hand is most commonly a ddressed in counseling circles. If ones hope affects a myriad of outcomes in life, such as physical and me ntal health, it may also impact occupational attainment. Educators have an oblig ation to prepare students for adu lt life, we must teach them to


13 be prepared for their chosen car eer. If hope is necessary for career attainment then educators must also teach hope to their students. This study will also give voice to a small samp le of children, who can help adults gain insight into how they think a bout and view the world around th em. The principal investigator believes in the validity and necessity of qualitative research. Qualitative research is of benefit to teachers because it allows the problem to be viewed under the circumstances in which it occurred and under similar circumstances in which the problem will be solved. Educational research has long relied on adult interpretations of child rens actions and langua ge, without asking the children to become part of the discussion. Definition of Terms Fantasy choice: An occupational choice that is not s een by s ociety to be a possible career, for example, fairy or pirate. Occupational clusters : Six categories of occupations as grouped by Holland, realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, and conventional. Hope : A positive motivational state that is based on an interactively derived sense of successful (a) agency (goal directed energy) and (b) pathways (planning to meet goals) (Snyder, 2002, p.250) Pathway: Routes to desired goals. Agency : The motivational aspect of hope that prope ls people along their routes to desired goals. Review of Related Literature The litera ture that forms the basis for this thesis is separated into two sections: career theory and hope theory. Career theory desc ribes the development of future occupational aspirations. Hope theory has thre e main components; goals, pathways and agency. Each of these two theories will be discussed in length individually in the following sections. After explaining


14 both hope theory and career theory in detail, I will explain the ways in which the two can be synthesized. Career Theory There is a growing body of research looking at young childrens occ upational aspirations and expectations. This research to date ha s answered m any questi ons about young childrens future goals and helped to bring us closer to a theory of how ch ildren develop a concept of their future selves in relation to occupation. The ma jority of past research has been conducted on adolescents. Ginzberg in his 1952 theory on occupational development was one of the first to include childhood in his model (Trice, 1995). Ginzberg separated childhood into two phases. He posited that children engage in fantasy choice (careers such as time tr aveler) until the age of eleven (Auger 2005). In this stage, ch ildren inspire widely and im pulsively with the principal constraints being the fathers occupation and parental suggestion (Trice, 1995, p. 307). From the ages of twelve to fourt een children begin to use more concrete criteria when making occupational choices. These choices are based on interest and not founded in ability or other realistic constraints of choice (Trice, 1995, p. 307) Ginzbergs theory found modest support in studies from the 1960s through early 1980s (T rice, 1995). However, more recent studies conducted in the 1990s found no evidence supporting Gi nzbergs claim that children aspire to fantasy choice options and fathers career unti l the age of eleven, and actually shows more support for a theory put forth by Gottfredson. Gottfredson (1981) proposed that children actu ally begin to narrow career choices as they move through childhood in relation to age specific themes of si ze and power, sex-roles, and social valuation Gottfredsons th eory separates childhood into four stages st arting at age three and has children choosing realistic, as opposed to fantasy choices, by age five. She also


15 postulates that as childre n grow older and become more aware of social norms they begin to limit their choices to occupational clusters, and thes e limitations, once made, are fairly permanent (Gottfredson, 1981) Genderand sex-type restricti ons occur between the ages of six and eight years old. From the ages of nine to twelve child ren become aware of the roles social class and intelligence play in career obtainment and narrow th eir choices even further, eliminating careers seen as too hard or unrea listic (Gottfredson, 1981). Gottfredson postulates that the major relevant elements of self-concept to vocational choice are elements of gender, social class bac kground, intelligence, and vocational interests competencies and values (Gottfredson, 1981, p. 548) These four postulates make up the four stages of her theory. The first stage, orientat ion to size and power, occurs around the ages of three to five. Children realizing the concept of a dult as different from child categorize this stage. The second stage, orientat ion to sex roles, occurs approximately around the ages of six to eight years of age. Here children consolidate a co ncept of gender and self Orientation to social valuation is the third stage, which occurs between nine to thirteen years of age. Here the more abstract self-concepts of social class and ability become important determinant of social behavior and expectations (Gottfredson, 1981, p. 549). The final stage, orientation to the internal, unique self occurs after age fourtee n. Here adolescents begin to lis ten to their own interests and capabilities. Gottfredson also talked about the concept of accessibility and how th is affects job choice especially around stage three. Acce ssibility refers to obstacles or opportunities in the social and economic environment that effects one chances of getting into a particular occupation (Gottfredson 1981, p. 548). Some obstacles may be the availability of the job in relation to the childs geographical surrounding, per ceived ideas of discrimination, how easy the job appears to


16 obtain, and a general lack of understanding of how to enter the occupati on. Children start to create zones of acceptable occupational alternat ives around stages three and four. These zones are based on information gleamed during the earli er stages. As such children begin to find occupations acceptable or unacceptable based on what is perceived to be appropriate for their sex and social class. All children may have high aspirations, what is an acceptable low aspiration may differ across sex and social class lines. Thus the major difference is not in the ceiling of what is acceptable, but in the floor of what is considered a possible alternative. When projecting oneself into the future, children often take into account the type of person they want to be. This idea coupled with perceived ability creates a zone of acceptable career choices. One of the barriers children face to occupa tional achievement that is stressed by Gottfredson is intelligence. Throughout each stag e of development intelligence plays a major underlying role in a childs ability to see him or herself in future careers. Occasionally Gottfredson links this to grades in school, and how one views ones ability in light of how adults view ones intelligence. However more often than not intelligence is li nked to social class. Gottfredson states that there is a correlation between social class and intelligence. She cites this correlation as one of the underlying factors de termining occupational outcomes. She believes that class and sex socialization limit options, both for men and women, rich and poor, but she also appears to believe that the majority of the poor deserve to be poor. She promotes intelligence testing as part of career. Roe attempted to create a theory that could predict specific occ upational outcomes based on early childhood experiences with caregivers. Thes e early experiences were classified into six categories, over demanding, rejecting, neglecti ng, casual, loving, and ove rprotective (Roe, 1957). Depending on parenting style a chil d would develop a personality that ultimately had the child


17 seeking careers that would either have him or her working with people, or have him or her working alone (Roe, 1964). Roe believed that how each parent acted towards a child could create a different occupational outcome. For example, a strong dominant father who is not around a lot might produce a child that is a lawyer. In contra st, an absent or weak father might produce a social worker (Roe, 1964). By 1964 Roes hypothesis of direct occupationa l predictability to childhood parent relationships ha d found little to no support in th e research (Grigg, 1959; Hagen, 1960; Switzer et al. 1962; Utt on .1962) even by Roe herself (R oe, 1964). Even though no direct relation in regards to occupa tional choice and parenting styl e was found the major underlying theme in Roes research was that early experiences with parents and adults affect occupational outcomes. Much like Roe, Havighurst believed that ea rly interactions with family affected occupational outcomes. Contrary to Roes idea that parental emotional interactions played the primary role, Havighurst (1964) believed that so cial class and the job of the father greatly influenced educational and occupational outcome s. Gottfredson (1981) cl early derived many of her theories from the early work of Havighurst (1964). Gottfredson (1981) championed the idea of occupational and educational attainment as a lifelong process, a process that was greatly influenced by societal factors. Both of these are assertions echoed by Go ttfredson in later years. Havinghurst (1964) theory states th e existence of six stages of de velopment. The first, which is observed around the ages of five through ten, is called identification with a worker. Here the child associates future self and ego ideal (Hav inghurst, 1964), which is the type of person they hope to be, with an adult worker. The second stag e occurs between ten and fifteen years of age and is when the child starts acquiring the ba sic habits of industry (Havinghurst, 1964, p. 216). Here the child learns how to organize their time and puts work commitments ahead of play. The


18 four remaining stages of Havinghurst theory are, acquiring identity as a worker in the occupational structure, becoming a productive person, maintaining a productive society, and contemplating a productive and responsible life (Havinghurst 1964). Research The 1990s In the 1990s, Trice (1991; 1992; 1993; 1995) co nducted a series of studies to test the validity of aspects of Gottfredson' s, Ginzberg's Roe, and Havinghursts theories. In a 1995 study Trice set out to see whether there was evidence to support key aspects of all four theories. He examined the validity of the argument that choices before age eleven we re erratic and based on fantasy (Ginzberg). To do this Trice (1995) aske d children about their first and second choices for occupation in order to determine whether th e choices were erratic or stable and based on rational thought rather than fant asy. He also sought out to disc over if childrens focus narrows with age (Gottfredson, 1981). By examining ch ildrens first and second choices by age for consistency and then looking at childrens answer s to questions about why they had chosen each career to see if their reasoning was based in sex-appropriateness, abilit y, or status. Ginzberg postulated that children aspire to the occupations of their father s. To address this question the researchers gathered data on child rens fathers and mothers car eers in two-parent homes where both parents were working to a ssess which job, if either, held more influence in childrens choices. To test Roes theory that family atmosphere effects career choice the data were analyzed according to family structure. Havinghursts (196 4) theory suggests that children will choose an occupation they are familiar with. To test this postulate, children were asked if they knew any one holding their chosen career. Data of parents and other memb ers of the childrens household were compared with childrens stated occupational choice. All four theorists promote a developmental sequence in occupational choices. Data were analyzed to see if there was a


19 sequence or theme given by participants of why th ey chose a particular career. Ginzbergs would have children mention interest, Gottfredson would expect status, ability, or sex-appropriateness to be a key factor, and Roe and Havinghurst woul d expect family and community to influence choice. To test these hypotheses the authors as ked 949 students spread across Virginia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, West Virginia, and th e District of Columbia. Eleven elementary schools throughout these regions were chosen, seve n public, two private (one Catholic, and one Christian). Participants were chosen across four grades. T he sample consisted of 168 kindergarten children, 239 second grade children, 272 fourth graders, and 270 sixth graders (Trice, 1995, p. 3). These regions and schools were chosen in order to gain a diverse sample. There were 263, 296, 185, and 205 participants from rura l schools, small citi es, inner cities and the suburbs, respectively. The demographic makeup of participants in the study was 63% Caucasian, 25% African American, 8% Hispanic, and 3% Asian American. Four hundred and seventy eight boys and 471 girls participated in this study. The study gained a participation rate of 85%. All participants were interviewed at school, during normal school hours on an individual basis by trained undergraduate psychology majors or the principal author of the study. The interview consisted of two parts. The first part of the interview was aimed at discovering childrens first occupational choice and their reasoning fo r this choice. Interviewers inquired if children knew any adults that held thei r specified job. Participants were then asked to identify a second career choice. Fi nally children were asked to iden tify adults in their household and specify their jobs and relationship to the ch ild. The second phase of the interview aimed at discovering if childrens occupati onal choices narrowed with age. To determine this children were asked about their preferences towards thir teen different occupations. These occupations


20 were chosen based on the predominance of one gender or the other, or neither according to census data and childrens understanding of th e occupation as according to a pilot study. Participants were asked whether they would lik e each occupation and why. Parents reported their own occupations on consent forms and transcripts were made of each childs interview. Trice (1995) based his categories of occupations on Hollands previous theoretical work in career studies. Holland clus tered jobs into six categories, realis tic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, and conventional (Holland, 1973). This clustering of occupational types made themes and trends more apparent. Trice found that among children who gave a first and second career choice, those who gave the same Holland theme were signi ficantly above chance (Trice, 1995, p. 5). When occupational aspirations are clus tered according to general type and prestige of work, children exhibit consistency across bo th choices. This result does not mesh with Ginzbergs theory that childrens occupational c hoices are erratic and fa ntasy-based. If Ginzberg were right, then there would be little to no statistical correlation between fi rst and second choice occupations. Children as young as kindergarten were making consistent and realistic occupational choices. Trice also found evidence to support Gottfreds ons theory that choi ce narrows with age. Trice found that children did in f act narrow their choices as they got older, but their reasoning also followed a trend. As childre n aged and limited their choices, their answers of dont know as a reason for ruling out an occupation grew as we ll. Boys, at twice the ra te of girls, listed sexinappropriateness as a reason fo r not choosing a career. Trice also found that children aspire to the occupational cluster of their mothers at rates significantly above chance: 30% for boys and 36% for girls. When exact occupation was analyzed the rates where lower but still signif icant with maternal employment growing by age


21 level on its influence on girls. On average 7% of girls aspired to their mothers exact career and 6% of boys. Neither boys nor girls aspired to their fathers occupational clusters significantly above chance. In regards to actual occupational matches only 1% of girls desired to have the same career as their father. The rates of boys aspiring to fathers occupation were also not statistically significant, but the re sults were interesting. The rates went up with each age level, so that by the sixth grade the rate of career aspirations were almost equal for sons in relation to mother and father. Seventy-two percent of particip ants indicated knowing someone with their desired career, and that the person was a member of their household. School protocol would not allow the researchers to ask specific questi ons about the childs relationship to members of the household in order to avoid sensitive quest ions about family structure. Th is supports Havighursts theory that childrens occupational choi ces are influenced by those they know intimately and not just through casual day-to-day intera ctions with occupations. One trend in developmental sequence was prev alent. By fourth grade both boys and girls could give specific reasons for their first career choice. Children began to mention specific abilities and interests at increas ed rates. Fourth grade boys also listed status and money as important factors in occupationa l choice, while girls mentioned these factors much less. One of the most dramatic revelations of the study concerned family structure and occupational choice. Trice was looking to see if family structure had an effect on the types of jobs children expected to have when they were older. What he found was not a difference in the types of careers chosen, but rather that as th e family structure broke down, children had less of an idea what they would be when they were ol der. So, children from two-parent homes gave a no choice answer 7% of time, for single-pare nt homes children chose no choice 18% of the


22 time. Those living with other relatives said no choice 43% of the time, and children in foster care did so 59% of the time. In 1991 Trice conducted similar, yet less extensive inquiries in to the st ability of childrens career aspirations over the elementary years, sim ilarities of children occupational aspirations to that of their parents, and simila rities and differences between ru ral and urban children in career choice. Two questions were asked of the 422 eigh tand eleven-year-olds: What do you want to be when you grow up, and What do you really think you will do when you grow up? (p. 137) The questions were asked by an interviewer, and then re-asked by a separate interviewer eight months later. Eighty-seven percent of eight-yea r-olds and 94% of elev en-year-olds gave the same career choice for both questions. Trice found no significant difference in the number or types of careers chosen by boys and girls, cont rasting dramatically with studies in the 1970s where girls chose careers from a significantly smaller pool than boys. For stability Trice found that 70% of eight-year-old girls and 69% of eight-yea r-old boys gave the same occupational choice in both interviews. Of those who expres sed stability in career choice over time, 56% of boys and 54% of girls chose occupations similar to a parent or guardian. For the rural-urban divide, Trice found that 81% of rural children held stable career aspirations as opposed to 63% of urban children. Rural children were also more li kely to select a pare nts career than urban participants, 55% and 38% respectively. The data for eleven-year-olds were similar to the data found for eight-year-olds. This st udy shows that children hold stab le career aspirations, and that those choices are based on direct experience. This is evident in the fact that rural children chose fewer occupations than urban children. When he controlled for children who gave fantasy responses (as defined by Holland, 1985) and those who gave no answer at all to questi ons about their second o ccupational choice, Trice


23 (1995) found that both occupations fell within themes identified by Holla nd at a statistically significant level (Trice, 1995). It would appear that children ha ve high hopes for the future. However, when we look more closely at what was reported new questions are raised. Only 16.7% of children in this survey gave a first and second occupational choice. What about the other 83.3%? Trice concluded that family structure was of great significance in determining not what types of choices children ga ve, but if they would have any c hoice at all. As stated earlier, Trice found significant differences between children from two parent homes and those from non-traditional, sing leor foster-parent homes. The former did not specify a second career 7% of the time and the later 30% of the time. As family structure broke down, so did a childs ability to project him/herself into the future. Unemploy ment rates also played a role. Two-parent households had an employment ra te of 90% while 33% of sing le parents and 42% of other relatives were unemployed. Career research of the 1990s was dominated by Trice and his co-authors. During the next decade other researchers would join the scen e, using the same th eoretical background and sometimes coming to very different conclusions. Recent Research Augers (2005) research helps refine the differences in career theory. Citing the sam e mixed reports and opposing theories as Trice, Auger set out to answ er four basic questions. First, at what point in childrens development do they be gin to aspire to occupa tions that are specific and realistic? Second, what is th e developmental trajectory of ch ildrens tendency to aspire to sex typed occupations? Third, at wh at point do children begin to cons ider the social prestige of occupations when choosing a desi red career? Forth and finally, what is the relationship between childrens career aspirations and the occupations of parents?


24 Augers (2005) sample consisted of one hundred and twenty three first, third, and fifth graders in two schools in a rural midwestern sc hool district. Trained gr aduate students using a structured interview protocol in terviewed the participants. The interviews were then transcribed. Parents of participants reported demographic in formation. Of the 123 children 75 were male and 48 were female, 110 were Caucasian, two Af rican American, two Native American, one Hispanic, and eight other. Ninety-two participants lived with both biological parents, 20 lived with a single mother, seven lived with a biological parent and a stepparent, and four lived in a different type of arrangement. The median hous ehold income of participating families was $51,000-$60,000. Auger concluded in his study that children as young as first grade aspire to realistic and specific careers. In fact, although the differences were not statis tically signifi cant, the first graders in this study gave the highest rate of re alistic career choices, with fifth graders giving the most fantasy choice answers. Auger also found further support for Go ttfredsons theory of societal forces shaping choice. As children got ol der, the prestige of thei r desired career rose. As children become aware of the societal structure around them, they gained a sense of the hierarchy of careers and began to aspire to careers more valued in so ciety. Auger found this happening around age nine. Auger found children reporting fantas y careers at rates of fifteen percent for first graders, thirty-four percent for third grader s, and thirty-six percent for fourth graders. Children in this study were less likely to give se x-typed occupational career choices, as they got older. Sixty-nine percent of fi rst graders reported a sex-typed career compared with only fortytwo percent of fifth graders. The difference be tween fifth grade boys a nd girls in sex-typed career choice was fifty-nine percent and twenty-f our percent respectively. Analysis of prestige ranking found that older children aspired to more prestigious careers than their young


25 counterparts. There was no correlation between sex or social class a nd prestige ranking among participants. Most children in this study provided responses that differed for quest ions one and two. The second question concerned what they really thought they would do when they got older. Thirty seven percent of children responded that they inte nded to have the same career as they had hoped to have, while twenty-two percent did not give any response at all, that is, they did not know what they would actually do when they got older. Of the children who responded, the prestige of their desired occupation and expected occupation did not differ. Thus children werent hoping to be one thing and expecting to be something less Auger (1995) also f ound that older children who gave a fantasy choice of what they would li ke to do often gave a re alistic choice of what they thought they would do. Finally, Auger found that most children could not name the occupations of their mothers and fathers, and th at there was no correlation between childrens career aspirations and parental em ployment. Six percent of particip ants aspired to the careers of their mothers and ten percent aspired to the careers of their fathers. Auger (1995) concluded that since there was not much difference in fantasy choices across age levels and because the number of children gi ving no response stayed fairly consistent across grade levels, a minority of fifth graders have no t matured or given ade quate thought to career goals. He also found no supporting evidence for Gottfredsons (1981) theory that career expectations narrow with age. He hypothesized that this may have to do with what children are exposed to at home and in their communities. He posited that if more chil dren were exposed, to male nurses and female construction workers, (p 328) they might be inspired to aspire to fields not common to their sex. Auger did find eviden ce that children begin to narrow job options based on prestige and ability level. This re search found no support for Havighursts (1964)


26 theory that family and parents influence career aspirations. Auger believes this may be due to the increased sources of information and role models that young children have. Where Are We Now? We have evidence that children as young as kindergarten give re alistic career choices (Auger, 2005; Cook, 1996; Hoffma n, 1991; Trice, 1991; Trice, 1992; Trice, 1995). Trice found in 1991 that childrens career aspi rations stay stable over the el ementary years. In 1993, Trice conducted a secondary analysis of a longitudinal study conducted in 1926 by Terman, which analyzed transcripts to find a connection between what children wanted to do in childhood and what they ended up doing as adults. The re search shows that not only are young childrens aspirations of careers rea listic but they also ar e stable into adulthood. Trice (1995) separated his analysis of Termans research into two parts. One was to look at exact occupational aspirations and outcomes, and the other was to cluster occupational choices and outcomes according to themes as defined by Holland. When searching for exact occupational matches, Trice found that 26% of boys aged six to nine at the time of the original study held the exact occupation they specified. As the particip ants ages rose, so did the likelihood of their holding their exact chosen career. Of the children whom were aged 14 to 17 in the original study 46% held the job they listed wh en questioned fifteen years later. The ratios of expectations and actualizations for girls in the st udy were significantly lower. Al though 28% of six to nine year old girls now presently held their expected ca reer, the numbers changed very little as the participants aged; that is 29% of 14 to 17 year olds held their specified career 15 years later. When Trice looked at the results of Termans study using Hollands six caree r clusters instead of exact occupation you get quite different result s. Of the oldest boys in the study, 65% had obtained a job in the same occupati onal cluster as they had chosen 15 years prior. Of the girls in the original study 71% had found employment related to their expressed aspirations in childhood.


27 The most recent data show that there is no stat istical difference in the career aspirations and expectations between the sexes (Auger, 2005; Trice, 1991; Trice, 1995). There are also no statistical differences in the number or prestige of careers aspired to by sex. Although the research consisten tly shows that young children have realistic and stable career aspirations, there are a lot of inconsistencies between Tric es and Augers findings. Trice found that mothers occupations are one of the most significant factors aff ecting childrens future occupational choice. (Trice, 1991; Trice, 1992; Tr ice, 1995). Many other st udies have confirmed mothers educational level as one of the top predictors of childrens ed ucational outcomes. Trice (1991; 1992; 1995) found that childre ns career aspirations did i ndeed mirror those of their parents, with a much higher correlation to mo thers occupation. Auger (2007), on the other hand found that childrens career aspirations did not co rrelate with their parent s occupations, and if anything leaned towards the father. This may be due in part to differences in the ways that Auger and Trice defined the parents careers. Auger looked only at specific job titles, wher eas Trice looked at occupational clusters. Augers sample has many limiting characteri stics. Almost all of his participants were white; there were only two African American child ren in the whole study. All the participants came from a single school district in the Midwest. Auger (2005) does not report how many women hold jobs in these communities, and many participants may have had stay-at-home moms. Trice postulated that perhaps the rise si nce the 1970s in children mirroring their mothers occupational status might be partia lly related to the fact that more children now see their mothers working than ever before. Most children in Augers study were middle class. Augers study may be valid, but it may be generalized only in Midwestern, middle class, white communities. Trice on the other hand has been conducting research on diverse communities for over a decade.


28 Summary Young children choose realistic career choices. The choices are stable into adulthood and can predict f uture educational and occupationa l outcomes. Both Trice and Auger found that children chose equivalent levels of prestigious occupations when asked what they would like to do and when they were asked what they expected to do. This shows that children at a young age, from different backgrounds, aspire to prestigious careers and expect to obtain prestigious careers. However, the data on adult occupational and educational attainment show us that class and mothers educational level are best predictors of future attainment. If children are significantly influenced by parents and other adults that they share an intimate bond with, then unemployment, divorce, and foster care impact th e kinds of role models available to children, the kinds of careers they are exposed to, and thus the options they consid er when thinking about their futures. If the child has not been able to form a bond with a caregiver who can role-model successful occupational attainment, then the child w ill not know where to start. If a child lacks an intimate caregiver relationship at all, they might not just be lacking in role models for careers, but role models and support for life in general. All the factors mentioned above, unemployment, divorce, and foster care could take an emotional toll on families and children. Something is happening along the pathway from childhood to adult hood. It is not surprisi ng that some children are not projecting themselves into the future; afte r all, what do they have to be hopeful about? Hope Theory The hallways and classroom s of our nation s schools are plastere d with motivational phrases. Children in some low performing sc hools chant mantras every morning proclaiming they can succeed. We ask them to dream; we impl ore them to give educa tion their all. We ask them to hope. We do not, however, show them how to hope or what to hope for. We make them proclaim their worth when other children just take that fact for granted. We tell them they are


29 valued as the ceilings fall in, th e books disappear and the teachers give up. Children today in our schools are being told to hope, w ithout any guidance or examples of what it looks like, what it feels like, to hope. Overview of Hope Theory Hope is the glue that holds together the rest of the hum an condition as well as the energy that moves us ahead (Peterson, 2000). The overwhe lming majority of res earch on hope has been principally authored by C.R. Snyder. In his research alongside numer ous colleagues and over multiple decades he has refined a definition of hope Hope is a positive motivational state that is based on an interactively derived sense of successf ul (a) agency (goal-directed energy), and (b) pathways (planning to meet th ose goals) (Snyder, 2002, p. 250). More simply, Hope is the perceived capability to derive pathways to desired goals (Snyder, 2002, p. 249). In previous theories of hope emotions played the major role in hopeful thinking. In Snyders theory of hope, emotions play a role, but it is one of support. Ho pe is a cognitive proce ss and emotions are the reactions to the consequences of cognitive processes. Hope theory is based on several assumptions; hope is a cognitive process, all peop le can hope, hope can be increased, humans are linear in thought with past and fu ture effecting present, most events can be construed as hopeful, and hope is affected by social constructs and experience. Most importantly Snyder emphasizes that hope is learned. One learns how to hope from ones caretakers over the course of childhood. Patterns of thought are instilled from the first days of life. The co re of Hope theory rests on the trilogy: goals, pathways, and agency (Snyder, 20 02). All three are necessary to have hope. All three will be discussed in the following section. The Trilogy: Goals, Agency, and Pathways Goals are ab solutely essential for hopeful t hought. In Craigs (1943) theory of cognitive processes the mind is seen as being constructe d to constantly figure out how to understand and


30 predict relationships among events. Point A to Po int B with Point B being the goal. In order to have hope we must have a goal. These goals can run the gamut of possibility, from needing to go to the bank before it closes, to wanting to become a veterinarian. Goals are what we strive for. Humans have a linear view of time. There is a pa st, a present, and a future. These three (past, present, future), although progressing in only one direction, are cons tantly reciprocally responsive to each other. Our past influences our present, and our present is influenced by our vision of possible futures. It is this constant procession towards the future that makes goals so intrinsic. We know the future is coming, and we prepare in the present for what we hope the future will be like by creating goals. Agency is ones ability to enlist action to wards a goal. Agency in essence is the motivational component in hope. Once one has created a goal, agency is the spark that begins you on the pathway to your goal. Agency also con tinues to interact with goal attainment along the pathway to attainment. At varying points towards attaining ones goal, one may encounter barriers, or lulls. Agency can interact again w ith the process and help one feel motivated once again to obtain a desired goal. The third component of hope theory is pathways. Pathways are the routes one takes to obtain desired goals. Pathways are a critical co mponent of hope. If one does not create effective routes to desired goals, then ones ability to atta in goals diminishes. As one repeatedly fails to attain goals, ones hope begins to deteriorate. S ubsequently, if one frequently creates effective pathways to goals than one creates more goals and in effect hope in creases. Applicable to Craigs (1943) theory of c ognitive development pathways are what connect A to B. In effect goals, agency and pathways, are a cyclical progression, with multiple feedback loops occurring throughout. One creates a goal, has agency to start, and creates pathways to


31 attainment. Along the way obstacles may be enco untered, pathways may have to be revised, agency may need to be tapped once again, and the goal itself may need revi sion. Ideas of the past and of the future influence goal creation and atta inment. If one has had past success in achieving goals, this may serve as the source of agency to continue the pursuit. If a person has had negative outcomes in their pursuit of goals, this may se rve to suppress agentic thought and limit goal attainment. Along the pathway to goal achievement one ma y encounter various blockages or barriers. Some people when envisioning a pathway to a goal have but one path. But more often than not people envision multiple pathways to their goals. Th is ability to adapt and use counter strategies to achieve a goal is most often seen in high hope individuals. Agency is al so needed to believe that one can overcome the current blockage, and motivate the person towards selecting an alternative pathway. Here, emotions play a ma jor role. When encountering a barrier one must reevaluate the pathway to the goal. Here, emo tions due to previous successes and failures influence thinking. If one has had little succe ss overcoming barriers in the past, then those emotions will affect agency, motivation to continue towards a goal or to find alternative routes. If one has overcome barriers in the past, one might have alternative pathways to draw from and have the motivation to continue with the goal pursuit. As suc h, hopeful thinking not only should facilitate success during unimpeded goal pursuits, but it should be especially helpful in the face of impediments (Snyder et al. 2000, p. 11). In order to have hope one must be able to cr eate goals. There must be a desire. After that desire there must be a will, agency, to move in the direction of the goal. Once one decides to move towards a goal the pathway one chooses and how one can adapt to barriers are crucial for


32 goal attainment and subsequently for hopeful thought. We have learned about the basic components of hope, now we will discuss the development of hope in children. Development of Hopeful Thought Hopeful thought is a cog nitive process cont aining developmental stages throughout childhood into adulthood. There ar e four stages of development to hopeful thinking. The early years, birth to three. The preschool years, ages three to six. The middle years, ages seven to twelve. The adolescent years, thirteen to eighteen (Snyde r et al. 2000). In the following paragraphs each developmental stage will be discussed at length. Birth to three years of age The developm ent of hopeful thinking speci fically the component of pathways thought begins in infancy. Snyder et al. (2000) divided early childhood into two phases. Phase one focuses on the development of pathways thi nking and occurs from birth onward. The second stage, the development of agency begins at one ye ar of age. Goal direct ed thinking is common in both stages of Snyders theory. As soon as the infant is born it is inundated with an onslaught of information. This sensory information must be in corporated into the brain and categorized. In order for this categorization to take place the infant must supplement the sensory information with an internal perception of what that se nsory data mean. This process of encoding and classifying sensory information is a cognitive process. As the infant applies perceptions to sensory events and begins to classify these perceptions, the process of building internal understanding of the outside world unfolds. Next, the infant begins to observe what S nyder calls linkages (p. 26). Here infants begin to perceive the this follo ws that (Snyder et al. 2000, p. 27) of events in their lives. They begin to see an event has having a chronology; a linear view of time develops. During this stage the child starts to create goals. In infancy this can be viewed most easily by the childs ability to


33 point to desired objects. The child has decided wh at he or she wants, presumably out of many options, and is beginning to express the foundations of path ways thoughts by pointing out the object in hopes of obtaining it. Agency thought begins to occur around one year of age. This stag e is characterized by two distinct realizations on the part of the child. First, the chil d begins to perceive self. That is, the child realizes that it is its own sentient bei ng. Second the child learns that he/she can act on other objects in the environment to make events occur. That is, a child has a goal, a pathway to meet that goal, and now the agency to motivate him or herself to achieve that goal. An example of this may be a child who sees a toy that he or she desires (goal), th e child decides to crawl towards it (pathway) and the child realizes that th ey can make themselves crawl, and that he or she can grab the toy (agency). Here toddler s start using the pronoun I exemplifying with language what Kaplan (1978) referred to as a psychological birth (p. 28). The understanding of self and of self as instigator is crucial to agency thought. Here is where the toddler learns that he or she can take actions to achieve his or her goals. The seeds of hopeful thought are planted in early childhood, and are one more important factor to the development of hope in the early years. As previously discussed one frequently encounters barriers to goals. In the early years the foundations of how to cope with and overcome barriers to goals are formed. Snyder et al. (2000) stress es that parents who try to anticipate their childs every need are doing the child a disservice. In the early years if a child comes across a barrier to a goal, this is when the child learn to look for new pathways, and learn to have the agency to continue trying new path ways. I think of my nephew trying to get a ball that got stuck under his crib. He had just learned to crawl but ev ery time he crawled towards the ball he hit his head against the cr ib. My sister and I reassured hi m that he could figure it out and


34 gave him time to try. We then t hought-out loud different possible reasons for not being able to reach the ball, and then demonstrated physically how we would get the ball. He didnt figure it out that day, but low and behold tw o days later in the same situa tion he struggled again, and this time he got the ball. It was frustrating for him at the time, but what he learned was to stay calm and try alternative pathways to his goal. This successful goal pursuit can be retrieved in the future when encountering a new barrier. As stated before agency thought is reciprocal, the more success the toddler experiences in effective path ways to goals, the more goals the child will continue to pursue, and the more positive past e xperiences he or she will have to draw upon and bring to new situations. Three to six years of age The ages of three to six ar e characterized by what Snyder et al. term ed the word explosion (2000, p. 32). During this stage of deve lopment the brain grows to ninety percent of its adult mass. Children go from using about fi fty words to over ten thousand. And individual words become paired together to create sentence s. With this newfound ability children begin to be able to pair words with perceptions of objects and events. As they begin to do this, they begin to use language to achieve goals. For example, when an infant is hungry he or she will cry, when a toddler is hungry he or she may say, I am hungr y. The toddler has attached the perception of what hunger is to the words we use to identify it. During this stage children begin to take in the perceptions of others. This is crucial in learning hope as many of our goals are obtained by navigating through the social world. Here children learn that goal attainment occurs in a so cial context. Others are trying to achieve goals alongside their own. Sometimes one needs the help of others, and sometimes one must compromise with others if there is conflict in go al achievement. Also important at this stage is the beginning of understanding scripts. Humans fo llow scripts throughout their days and lives. In


35 this stage the foundation for future social scripts are being learne d. One script in the average day of a young child may be awake up script. The ch ild would wake up, brush teeth and hair, get dressed and eat breakfast. Seven to twelve years of age The m iddle years, seven to twelve, are character ized by three main themes. First, the child masters reading. One, they learn how to read, two the reason for reading changes. Children dont just read for pleasure, but they begin to read for information (Snyder, 2002). Now a whole world filled with previously undecipherable code is a world steeped in knowledge. Children devour the written word, reading books, signs, la bels, etc. All of this informa tion is stored and processed in the brain. During this stage the ch ilds brain begins to be able to store more information than ever before (Snyder, 2002). Not only can the brain store more information then previous stages, it can also be retrieved faster. During the middle years understanding of personal relationships solidifies (Snyder, 2002). Children learn that their goals coexist with others goals. As a result of this understanding of personal rela tionships children in this st age often acquire a best friend (Snyder, 2002). Thirteen to eighteen years of age The adolescent years are the final stage before adulthood. Here relationships with others on a persona l as well as sexual level develop and deepen. A sense of self and personal identity begins to transform into a premonition of adulthood characteristics. Many teenagers try on different personas, but they begin to solidify in to a solid self-image by later adolescence. Here children begin to become accurate judges of their own abilities. Hope is a cognitive process that develops through a series of stages. Each stage grows from the lessons learned before it. The four stages of hope theory span the life of a child from birth to


36 eighteen years of age. Now that we know the developmental sequence of hope we will discuss how hope can be encouraged or discouraged. Hopes Birth, Hopes Death We have earlier discussed th e developm ental pro cesses throughout childhood that make hopeful thinking possible. We shall now look at how hope can be encouraged and discouraged. As hope can be nurtured, so to can it be dimini shed. There are many ways that hopeful thinking in children can either fail to occur all together or be deconstructed over time. From the first days after birth the founda tion for hopeful thinking occurs. Here the caregivers attend to the infants ev ery need. If the infant feels as though it is safe and loved, the child will begin to bond with a caregiver. A bond with a caregi ver is an important component of hopeful thought. Children need consistency and boundaries. A bond with a caregiver allows for children to have an anchor as they practice goal re lated activities. The careg iver also acts as an all-important role model for the child crea ting goals and successfully navigating through pathways to attainment. If a child is neglecte d in the weeks following birth the trauma to the childs developing brain and psyche begin patterns of negative thinking and an inability to create goals. Physical, emotional, and sexual abuse all play a major role in the loss of hope in children. Studies have shown that children who had expe rienced physical abuse were prone to negative emotions, lack of enthusiasm, and were easily distracted (Egeland, 1983). In the same study it was found that children who were physically, emotionally, or verbally abused or whose caregivers were neglectful exhibited less problems solving ability then a control group in the study. Ability to solve problems is analogous with pathways in hope theory. If abuse and neglect of all kinds affect problem solving ability, then one can extrapolate that pathways, and thus hope are lost. Young children, who experience abuse, can retreat from careg ivers and avoid peers


37 (George, 1979). As they retreat further into themselves they sever themselves from models of hopeful thinking necessary for future success. Snyder et al. (2000) also found that disruptio ns in the home affect hope. The loss of a parent or caretaker either through death or divorc e can cause a child to lose hope. When a parent is lost due to death a childs worldview is shak en. Bonds and realities that were thought to be stable and constant vanish. The child is left hurting, and without a role model of hope for the future. Likewise when parents divorce, children see family structures that they once took for granted as permanent as volatile. This leads to f eelings of distrust betw een child and caregiver. Hopeful thought is impossible if th e child feels as though his or her whole reality can change in an instant. The child no longer ha s a solid foundation from which to project him or herself in to the future. Agency and thus hope are greatly aff ected. Another important factor in the loss of hope in childhood has to do with th e childs perceptions of his or her capabilities. The child begins to pick up on parental a nd societal cues of what they think the child is capable of. All the examples above refere nce extreme events that cause the death of hopeful thinking. For some children just the repeated exposure to barriers that they cannot overcome can cause despair and ultimately apathy. Snyder describes f our common stages that hope can take when confronted with a barrier, hope, rage, despair, and apathy (1994). Child ren who lack effective pathways and/or agency to achieve goals when impediments occur, generally begin down the path to rage. At the rage stage children still are exhibiting agency, but that agency is misdirected and unconstructive. Impulsive and misguided actions are common and their effects and consequences lead to the next stage, despair. When in despair the child is still goal focused but is overwhelmed and unable to think of any pathwa y to goal obtainment, the child feels as though trying would be worthless. Many people who slip into despair lack mastery or knowledge about


38 how to problem solve (Snyder et al. 2000, p. 42). From despair children untimely find themselves at apathy. Here the child abandons all hope and gives up the goal. The Childrens Hope Scale The Childrens Hope Scale is an instrum ent created by Snyder and colleagues (1997) to accurately measure hope levels in children. The sixitem Likert style questi onnaire contains three questions designed to tap pathways and agency thought respectively. The scale is based on the assumption that children are goal directed by na ture, and that their goa l-directed thoughts can be understood according to agency and pathways (Snyder, 1994, p. 63). The Childrens Hope Scale has been validated for us e with children between the ages of seven to sixteen (Snyder, 1997). The scale was created so it could be admini stered and hand scored in under three minutes. The Childrens Hope Scale was created as an easy and quick assessment tool probing the pathways and agency thoughts of children. H ope has an impact on a childs future. An instrument for assessing hope in children is extremely useful. Research on hope Snyder and colleagues have conducted the overw helm ing majority of research on hope over the past decade. This research is the founda tion of hope theory as outlined in the preceding sections. The theory that was born from the resear ch has been discussed, now the research itself will be presented. As stated previously hope is the perceived capa bility to derive pathways to desired goals. (Snyder et al. 2002, p. 249) Snyders research on hope began in 1989. In his first paper Snyder began to link hopeful thinking to a cognitive pr ocess (Snyder, 1989). Previous definitions of hope cast emotions at the center of hope. Snyder felt as though emotions played a supporting role and were affected by goal outcomes, not that goal outcomes were affected by emotions.


39 In 1991 Snyder and colleagues published two stud ies that gave a specific definition of hope, as well as clearly defined the terms, goal, agency, and pathway. Now that a framework had been created Snyder and colleagues began looking at how hope affected outcomes. To do this they created the Hope Scale (Snyder et al. 1991), the Adult St ate Hope Scale (Snyder et al. 1996), Adult Domain Specific Hope Scale (Snyder et al. 1999), the Childrens Hope Scale (Snyder et al. 1997), and Young Childrens Hope Scale (McDermott et al. 1997). Once these scales were validated hope could be meas ured across populations, times, and locations. The Childrens Hope Scale now has been ad ministered to thousands of children and adolescents across America. These findings show that on average children are more hopeful than adults (Snyder, 1994). Snyder is qu ick to recognize that this does not necessarily mean that the next generation is more hopeful. Since hope is cyclical and past experiences dictate future actions, children just may have not experienced the same number of setbacks as their adult counterparts. Unfortunately ther e is no longitudinal data to de monstrate if hope scores stay relatively stable over the course of a lifetim e, or if they can change drastically. The research is mixed on whether or not race plays a factor in hope. In one study (Snyder, Hozer, et al. 1997) race and ethni city did not show to be a f actor in hope scores. However McDermott and colleagues (1998) found a significant difference in hope scores across ethnicities. Hispanics and Native Americans had th e lowest hope scores. Ca ucasians and African Americans scored significantly higher with African Americans obt aining the highest hope scores over all. The authors believe that some of this variance may have to do with the isolation of the Hispanic and Native American communities in this study. McDermott and colleagues found that when children can learn in an ethnically diverse classroom wh ere the tax base of the school


40 district permits more and better learning resour ces, the hope scores of all children, including ethnic minorities, appear to be higher. (McD ermott, Gariglietti, & Hastings, 1997, p. 186) Functioning under the assumption that hope is learned, McDermott and colleagues created an eight-week course to see if instruction on positive goal oriented thinking could affect hope scores. The trainings were crea ted to be presented to firs t and second grade children from disadvantaged backgrounds by their teachers usi ng a story telling approach (McDermott et al. 1996). In this approach, goals, agency, and pathwa ys are explicitly explai ned. After this, a story is read that contains a narrat ive that exemplifies hopeful goal di rected thinking. The intervention took place for thirty minutes a day for eight week s. Pre and posttest hope scores were taken and compared to a control group. The children in th e control showed no diffe rence in hope scores over the eight-week period. The gr oup that received the training reaped modest gains in hope scores (Snyder et al. 2000). High hope scores have been shown to positivel y affect the outcomes of children in a multitude of settings. Hope scores have shown to predict school achievement across age groups (Snyder, et al. 1999). Higher hope has a relation to higher academic performance (Snyder et al. 1999), higher scores on standardized achievement tests (Snyder et al. 1997), and higher overall grade point average for high sc hool (Snyder, Harris, et al. 19 91) and college students (Chang, 1998; Curry et al. 1997; Snyder et al. 1991). In a six-year study of 200 incoming college freshman hope scores were taken their first semester. Subsequently hope scores were able to predict higher grade point averages and lower attrition rates. Hopes predictive power throughout these studies remained significant when controllin g for other factors such as, previous grades, entrance examination scores, self-esteem, and intelligence.


41 Hope scores have been linked to athletic success both in high school and college sports (Curry et al. 1997; Curry & Snyder 2000). Sin ce having hope means one has clear goals and pathways to achieve those goals this pattern of thinking lends itself to school and athletic success. Achievement in school partly depends on ones ability to set goals and work towards them. Likewise athletic achievement also entails creating goals and crea ting pathways to obtain them. Physical health and wellbeing have been lin ked to hope scores. In one study a group of high hope women scored higher th an their low hope counterpart s on a breast cancer awareness fact test. These women also expressed a higher level of intentions in being proactive about cancer prevention (Irving et al. 1998). In another study high hope pa rticipants were more likely to engage in preventative activities prior to b ecoming ill, such as exercise (Harney, 1990). Gay men with high hope scores were found to partake in safer sex practices than low hope gay men (Floyd & McDermott 1998). Hope also plays in important role after one becomes sick. Numerous studies have found that high hope correlates to better adjustment wh en dealing with chronic pain and illness. Hope has been a documented positive factor in burn in jury cases (Barnum et al. 1998), patients with fibromyalgia (Afflect & Tennen 1996; Tennen & Af flect 1999), severe ar thritis (Laird, 1992) and blindness (Jackson et al. 1998). Another import ant aspect of medical treatment is adherence to a medical regiment. Moon (1991) found that ch ildren with high hope sc ores; especially high agency scores were more likely to take their as thma medicine as prescr ibed. In relation Snyder and colleagues found that hope scores predicted whether a participant would remain in a drug treatment center. Both of these studies were controlled for demographic and psychological factors. From these studies Snyder (2002) and co lleagues postulated that high hope people would


42 have a high tolerance for pain as they would cr eate coping strategies to obtain their goal (no pain). In a laboratory study usi ng hot water, high hope and low hope participants were timed to see how long they could keep their hands in the water. High hope participants were able on average to keep their hands on the water nearly twice as long as low hope participants. Psychological well being and its relation to hope were the subject of many studies through out the 90s. The overall findings of all studies were that higher hope related to better overall adjustment (Kwon, 2002). College students with high hope reported feeling more confidant, inspired, energized, and challenged by their life goals (Snyder et al. 1991). College students with high hope also report lowe r rates of depression, higher feelings of self worth and higher levels of life satisfaction (Chang, 1998), In addition to individual happi ness it is postulated by Snyder (2002) that hope on a societal level may also be important. He cites a study in wh ich the structure of soci eties was compared to suicide rates (Krauss & Krauss, 196 8). It was found that cultures that were more restrictive had higher suicide rates than countries with less rest rictive laws and roles. Lower hope scores have also been linked to higher rates of suicidal thoughts among college students (Range & Penton, 1994). One study of Vietnam veterans found that veterans were more hopeful during their time at war than in their present day lives (Irving, Tefler & Blake, 1997). Snyder at tributes this to the barriers faced by these veterans after returning home. Trouble finding work and adequate medical care ultimately undermined hope (2002). A correlation has also been found linking low hope scores with posttraumatic stre ss disorder (Snyder & Pulvers, 2001). One of the reasons that wellness corresponds so highly to hope scores is that as high hope individuals encounter blockages to goals they quickly tap into ag ency reserves and create a new or revised pathway to goal attainment (S nyder, 2000). Low hope peopl e get stuck and do not


43 have the agency to move ahead in the face of bloc kages, nor do they have the skills to create alternative pathways to their goals. As a resu lt their health, both phys ical and physiological suffers. Parents, family, and friends a ppear to play an important ro le in hope. High hope adults have reported having strong bonds with a caregive r as a child and spendi ng significant chunks of time with that caretaker (Reige r, 1993). These strong attachme nts in childhood lead to strong attachments in adulthood (Snyder, Chaevens, & Sympson, 1997). High hope adults report fewer feelings of loneliness (Sympson, 1999), are more socially competent (Sn yder et al. 1997), and perceive more social support when encountering barriers (Barnum et al. 1998). It has been found that people gravitate towards high hope individuals (Cheavens et al. 2000) who are generally more flexible, tolerant, and forgiving. False hope Is hope always good? What if your hopeful thinking represents unrealistic goals or seemingly impossible pathways? Snyde r (2002) has found that false hope as he calls it is in fact a beneficiary. Snyder found that high hope individuals have a sligh tly higher view of themselves and their abilities (2002). This positive view however is infl uenced by realistic feedback (Snyder, 2002). High hope patients with sickle cell anemia w ho showed extremely high hope levels at the beginning of treatment began to ha ve lowered hope as the prospects of recovery became slimmer (Kliewer & Lewis, 1995). Likewi se African American youth have been shown to have higher hope levels th an their Caucasian counterparts. However, African American children who had directly witnessed violence ag ainst a family member had lower hope scores than those who had not witne ssed a violent attack (HintonNelson, Roberts, & Snyder, 1996). These studies show that having extremely high hope does not necessarily mean one is out of touch with reality.


44 Another aspect of false hope is that one may have goals that are just too big or unobtainable. Snyder found that high level goal stri vers are no less likely to attain their goals than their low level goals stri ving counterparts (1991). Snyder also discovered that one thing high hope people do is to accept an approximation of their original goal (Snyder et al. 2000). For instance a child might want to become the all time touchdown passer for the NFL. This is statistically very unlikely to occur. However striving for this goal may result in a rewarding approximation of the original goal. This hi gh hope person may begin to reflect another characteristic of high hope thinkers, and they may begin to set personal goals, such as trying to throw for more passing yards than the season before. Summary Hope in this study is ones ability to move to wards chosen goals. Hope has been shown to predict and affect the outcom es of many people. We know that hope is a learned and that it is a developmental process beginning at birth. Hope relies strongly on role models and strong child care giver bonds. One grows hope. Our past experien ces help to nurture our future expectations of our capabilites.


45 CHAPTER 2 PROCEDURES AND METHODS OF ANALYSIS This study was designed to answer two questio ns. Do elementary childrens hope levels have a relationship to future educational and occupational goals? Do el ementary children have pathways formed for the attainment of future educational and occupational goals? The research was conducted in two parts. First, the Childrens H ope Scale was administered to all participants, and second, structured interviews were conducted with qualified students. The Childrens Hope Scale was used to select seven high hope and fi ve low hope participants to take part in a structured interview w ith the researcher about future goals. The rese arch procedures are explained in the following sections. Context Three schools in the Meechun County School District were chosen based on countyreported statistics. The schools in this study were explicitly chosen base d dem ographic factors. The researcher used the Department of Educatio ns website to obtain statistical data on the demographic makeup of all Meechum County1 public schools, including Charter schools. Three schools were chosen based on the most recent available data from the 2006-2007 school year. The first school was chosen because a majority of its students were African American and eligible for free or reduced lunches. The second was chosen because the majority of its students were Caucasian and not eligible for free or reduced lunch. The th ird school was a charter school with a majority of students eligible for free a nd reduced lunch programs. This charter school was chosen to widen the studys scope. The children at the charter school matched qualifications to be labeled at-risk, but they ha d an adult who demonstrated si gnificant involvement in their educational future by signing them up for the school and providing tr ansportation daily. The 1 The name of the county has been changed.


46 research on educational and occupational attain ment and hope theory suggests that being attached to a caregiver can greatly improve outco mes. The charter school was chosen in order to examine whether there were differences in hope scores based on an adult being explicitly involved in a childs educational choices. In the interest of full disclosu re, it should be noted that the re searcher previously taught for two years at the charter school included in the study, but was not employed by the school at the time the research was conducted. The third grade class at this school contained two of the investigators former students and multiple siblings of former students. In addition, the teacher of one of the classes chosen at one of the other schools had worked in the school system alongside the researcher. The researcher gained approval from the Inst itutional Review Board at the University of Florida and the School Board of Meechun County. The principals of the two county schools signed and returned the needed documentation fo r approval. These forms were not required for the Charter school. Instead, the principal of th e school was contacted, and he gave verbal permission for the research to take place, as per county requirements. Setting of the Study This section will outline the basic g eography a nd demography of each school, as well as that of the district where the re search took place. It will help to familiarize the reader with the layout, size, and facilities availa ble at, each location. Each location used for the administration of the Childrens Hope Scale is identified in rela tion to the general design of the school. The locations of individual in terviews are not referenced in this section, as there were many different locations for these interviews depending on factors that will be addressed in later sections.


47 Population and Sample The three schools used in this study are located in a southern school district. Sm aller rural communities surround the urban center. The city proper, like many American cities, is divided along race and class lines. The more affluent whites live on the west side of town. Poorer residents and non-whites generally tend to live on the east side. According to a 2006 estimate by the census bureau, the population of the county was two hundred and twenty seven thousand, one hundred and twenty. As of the 2000 census, 19.1% of the population was under the age of eighteen. The racial breakdown of the genera l population was: 73.2% White, 20.3% African American, 6.7% Latino, 4.5% Asian, 1.6% more th an two races of origin, and 0.3% American Indian/ Alaskan Native. Of t hose reporting, 11.5% did not speak English at home. The median household income was $34,696; the median house value was $97,300. The percentage of people living under the poverty line was 14.5%. The school district is a preK12 district encompassing seventy-two schools. According to NCES (National Center for Edu cational Statistics), as of the 2006-2007 school year there were 29,109 students enrolled in preK-12 public education. The district was classified as, city: midsize by the Department of Education, and it employed one thousand, six hundred and three teachers with a student-teacher ratio of 17.3:1. The district spent $8,502 per student for all educational and related services. Three schools in the district were used in the present research st udy. They were chosen by their descriptive statistics. The goal was to obtain a sample of th ird graders that represented the range in demographics in the comm unity at large. The next few s ections present statistical data on each school as well as an overview of school geography. Also discussed is the decision to use only third grade classrooms.


48 The Schools School One School one (S1) is classif ied as a rural: fr inge school by the Department of Education for the 2006-2007 school year. It is a K-5 charter school with 96 students in all. It is classified as a Title One school with a student-tea cher ratio of 12:1. There were 10 students enrolled in the third grade. Fifty-three percent of the student body were eligible for free lunch, and an additional 7.4% were eligible for reduced lunch. The racial and ethnic composition of th e school is: 57% black, 40% White, less than two percent Hispanic, Asian, and American Indian/ Alaskan Native (National Center for Educational Statistics). S1 is located on the east side of town towards th e edge of the city line. It is a charter school that lies between the city proper and outlying ru ral communities. There is no bus service to the school. Many children from the surrounding Eastside area attend the school as do rural children whose families work in the city proper and pass by the school on their way to work. The school is contained in three buildings. Th e main building houses the office, the kitchen and small cafeteria, the computer lab, the guidanc e counselors office, principals office, teacher work room, one of the first grade classes, two second grade classes, and one third grade class. The teacher workroom is where the Childrens Hope Scale interviews were conducted, but is also used as an exit to the playground and other buildings. School Two School two (S2) is a preK-5 public elem entary school classified as city: midsize by the Department of Education for the 2006-2007 school year. S2 was not a Title I school and had 127 students enrolled in third grade th at year. There were 755 students enrolled with a student teacher ration of 14.8:1. Less than .1% of the entire student body were eligible for free lunch and reduced lunch. The racial and ethnic demographi c information is as follows: 73% White, 13%


49 Asian, 6% African America, 6% Hispanic, and 1% American Indi an/Alaskan according to the National Center for Educational Statistics. S2 is substantially larger than S1. There is a small parking lot in fr ont of the school. One enters through the office and is buzzed in to th e main building through a s ecurity door. There are three wings to this school, all individually encl osed. One must walk outside to access the next row of classrooms. The first wing houses the libra ry, office, media center, and art room, as well as multiple classrooms. In all the wings the classr ooms are clustered together. One enters a main door off the hallway and into a common area sh ared by four classrooms. This area has computers, tables, and other materials. Students are allowed to move freely through this area during certain activities. Both the Childrens Hope Scale and individual interviews were conducted in this common area. School Three School three (S3) is classified as a city: m idsize school with 453 students enrolled in 2006-2007 school year (Department of Education). There were 102 children enrolled in the third grade of this Title I public K-5 elementary school in 2006-2007. The demographic information is: 67% African American, 24% White, 6% As ian, and 3% Hispanic. Of the 453 enrolled students, 66% qualified for free or reduced lunch (National Center for Educational Statistics). S3 has a very similar layout to S2. They bot h have three main hallways that one can access from the main office. There is no security door to be buzzed through at this school. One accesses the individual hallways from the office. The main hallways of each wing are enclosed, but one must walk outside to access the th ird hallway. There is no common area linking classrooms. Classrooms are located right off a main hall. The Child rens Hope Scale and interviews were conducted in this main hall and in a small teachers storage area.


50 Sample Selection Grade-level, rather than age, was used as a selection criterion for two reasons. The first reason is the possible variance in ages in each grade-level depending on school. In Florida, all third graders are required to ta ke and pass the FCAT (Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test) in order to advance to fourth grade. This can result in age diff erences of up to three years for children in third grade. The second, related reason is that if age were a selection criterion, more classrooms would have been needed in order to obtain a large enough samp le. For these reasons, a single grade level was chosen in order to have commonality to compare students hope levels across schools. By limiting the sample to one third-grade class per school, the researcher limited the time and resources the schools had to invest in the project. The sample was not limited by prior achievement levels as prior achievement seems to influence childrens hope scores Snyder et al. (1997) found a co rrelation between Childrens Hope scores and achievement test scores, using the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. They hypothesize that childrens capacities to form goals and to mobilize themselves along chosen pathways to those goals are important in acquiring and main taininginformation in school (Snyder et al. 1997). Snyder et al also found no correlation be tween Childrens Hope Scale scores and intelligence level as measured by the WISC-R (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for ChildrenRevised) or WISC-III. If children perform poorly on the FCAT, a standardized achievement test, Snyder et als findings suggest that they will be more at risk of low hope. Therefore, if thirdgraders who had failed the FCAT were excluded from the sample due to age, a valuable resource into the perspectives of low hope i ndividuals might have been lost. One other factor influenced the decision to select third-grade children. The researcher wanted to interview young children because of the ga p in the literature in career theory when discussing children. Most prior research focuse s on high school-aged children. The average third


51 grader is eight years old, solidly within Piaget s Concrete Operation Stage. At this stage, childrens thinking is characterized by an ability to create hierarchal classification and the childs ability to think simultaneously in term s of the whole and its parts (Ginsburg, 1979). Children at this stage can classify objects in rela tion to each other based on the properties of each object as well as the relationshi ps between objects (Piaget, 1997) In connection to goals and pathways, children of this age have the inte llectual capacity to begin to rank their goals hierarchically and to assimilate those goals into contexts. Current resear ch on career aspirations suggests that childrens career aspirations are realistic by kinderga rten. Therefore, third graders should have realistic aspirations for their future careers and the capacity to communicate their aspirations. Each third grade teacher was contacted via email. At their request, the researcher met with two of these teachers, and one principal to de scribe the research methodology and the purpose of the study. One teacher asked for the investigator to enter the classroom, meet the children, explain the study to them, and pass out permission slips. One of the other teachers, after meeting with the investigator, took the permission slips back to her class to pass out herself the next day. At the third school, the Curriculum Resource teacher met the investigator in the office and took the permission slips to that schoo ls participating third grade t eacher who passed out the forms. In the three third grade classrooms, a permi ssion slip was given to every member of the class. Fifty-five permission slips were given in all. Of these, thirty-two were returned with signatures. Two parents refused pe rmission, and five parent(s) or guardian(s) gave permission for the child to participate in either the Children s Hope Scale or the in terview about childrens future goals, but not both. In total 56% of pa rents gave permission for their children to participate in the study. The Childre ns Hope Scale was administered to 28 children: nine at S1,


52 13 at S2, and six at S3. Of these 28 participan ts, six qualified as low hope according to the Childrens Hope Scale, ten were classified as high hope, and thirteen students scored in the moderate range. Onelow hope student did not have permission to pa rticipate in the interview, so five low hope students were interviewed (2 male, 3 female). Of the ten high hope participants, seven were interviewed (3 male, 4 female). One did not have permission to participate, and two were absent on the day of the interviews. Of the high hope participants elig ible for the interview, five were male and five were female. Of the low hope participants, three were male and three were female demonstrating no difference in the ratio of males or females represented in either category (see table A-1 in appendix). According to the Childrens Hope Scale, S1 generated one low hope and one high hope participant. S2 generated four low hope and four high hope interview participants, and S3 delivered two hi gh hope interview participants and no low hope participants Methodology The current study is designed to answer two questions: First, do ch ildrens hope levels have a relationship to future educational and occupational goals? Second, do children have pathways formed for the attainment of future e ducational and occupational goals? Description of the methods used to collect data is included here. The Childrens Hope Scale Purpose Data about childrens level of hope were collected with a five-m inute questionnaire entitled, The Childrens Hope Scale. This sc ale was developed and validated by Snyder and colleagues in the 1990s.The Childrens Hope Scale is a six-item self-report measure based on the premise that children are goal-directed and that their goal-directed thoughts can be understood according to agency and pathways (Snyder et al. 2000, p. 63). Three of the


53 questions inquire about a childs agency thought, and three of the questions are designed to measure pathways thought. The agency items tap into goals and thoughts about the future. The pathways items assess the childrens perceived ab ility to find ways to obtain future goals under both regular and extraordinary circ umstances. This scale has been validated for use with children from seven to sixteen years of age. Administration and Scoring When the Childrens Ho pe Scale is administer ed to participants, it is called Questions About Your Goals (Snyder et al. 1997). The admi nistrator can either read each item to the participant, or the participant can read the items him/herself. In the current study the questions, and all possible responses, were read to all participants for eac h of the six questions. There are six possible answers for each question presented in a six-point Likert scale format regarding statements about how the child feels the majority of the time. The possible options are; none of the time, a little of the time, some of the time, a lot of the time, most of the time, and, all of the time. The measure is then hand-scored by the administrator. Administering the survey takes approximately five-minutes; scoring takes around three minutes per scale. As stated above, three questions measure agency, and three measure pathways. Scores range from three to eighteen on each subset. Total scores on The Children s Hope Scale range from six to thirty-six. Validation of the Instrument The average score on th e Childrens Hope Scal e is twenty-five indicating the average child thinks hopefully most of the time(Snyder, 2000, p. 63). Children who have both strong pathways and strong agency scored twenty-nine or above. These scores plac e the child within the top fifteen percent and are cate gorized extremely high hope scores (Snyder, 1997). In contrast, a score of twenty-one or below characterizes a chil d as extremely low hope. This indicates that the


54 child is generally dubious about hi s or her agency and pathways, a nd she or he falls in the bottom fifteen percent of children (Snyder, 1997). Snyder (2000) is quick to note, however, that even children who report low hope still have some hope; they still believe that sometimes they have the power and skills to create and achieve goals. The average score on both the agency and pa thways subsets is twelve and a half points, respectively (Snyder, 2000). A score of fifteen on either set indicates th e child is in the top fifteen percent for agency or path ways. A score of less than ten indicates a child is in the lower fifteen percent for pathways or agency thinking. Most children score about the same on each subset (Snyder, 1994) demonstrating equivalent le vels of pathways and agency (Snyder, 2000). In the process of developing and validating the Childrens Hope Scale, Snyder and colleagues performed numerous studies on dive rse populations. In their study, the Childrens Hope Scale was given to seven samples of child ren after obtaining parent al consent. The first sample of children consisted of one hundred a nd ninety seven boys and one hundred and seventy five girls, aged nine to fourteen. All of the children attended school in the Edmond, Oklahoma school district. Of those original children, all of the boys and n early all the girls retook the Childrens Hope Scale after a one-month period and constituted the second sample. The third sample that the measure was tested on consisted of 48 boys and 43 girls that took the Childrens Hope Scale at the beginning and end of a one week summer camp for ch ildren with sickle cell anemia, arthritis, and cancer held by Mercy Ho spital located in Kansas City, MO. The fourth sample, one hundred and seventy boys ages seven to thirteen who were diagnosed with ADHD and attending a summer camp in Pittsburg hoste d by the Western Psychiatric institute. As a control for the previous sample, 74 boys who ha d not been referred for ADHD services but had similar age-spreads as the ADHD group were tested. The sixth sample was of 70 boys and 73


55 girls aged eight to sixteen being treated for cance r at Anderson Cancer Center in Austin Texas. The seventh sample consisted of 154 boys and 168 gi rls aged nine to thirteen from the Kansas City public schools in Overland Park and Lawrence. The mean scores for all seven groups ranged from 25.41 to 27.03 with a median of 25.89 (Snyder, 1997). When each of the six questions on the Childrens Hope Scale was analyzed, a mean score of 4.32 was obtained. This suggests th at children exhibit hopeful thinking somewhat more than a lot of the time, but not as mu ch as most of the time (Snyder, 1997, p. 405). No significant differences in scores between boys and girls were observed. Two of the groups studied had sufficient raci al diversity to allow statisti cal comparison. African American, Caucasian, and Hispanic children were evalua ted, and the researchers found no statistical significance in median hope scor es across groups. Caucasians had the lowest average score (25.73). African Americans were next (26.08), and Hispanics were highest (29.8). Snyder et al also found no statistical signifi cance in variations by age. Reliability The Childrens Hope Scale has b een administered to children across four states including children diagnosed with cancer, si ckle cell anemia, arth ritis, and ADHD, as well as children in enrolled in public education in the Lawrence, Kansas school distri ct. Internal reliabilities were acceptable (Snyder, 2000, p. 64) with Cronbach al phas for the total score of the Childrens Hope Scale ranging from .72 to .86. The median alpha score was .77 (Snyde r, 1997). The test retest reliability of the scale has proven to be positive and significant. A population of 197 boys and 173 girls aged 9-14 in an Okla homa school district retook the Childrens Hope Scale after a one-month period. Another group of 48 boys and 43 girls aged 9-17 took the Childrens Hope Scale before and after attending a one-week summer camp for children. As stated before both were found to be significant and reliable with r(359)=.71, p< 0.001, and r(89)= 0.73, p< .001


56 respectively (Snyder, 1997). The Childrens Hope Scale also shows response variability, which reflects the ratio of standard de viation to the total scores th ese numbers ranged from 0.12 to 0.24 with a median of 0.19 (Snyder, 1997, p. 405). Procedures Administration of the Childrens Hope Scale At each school the researcher took participan ts from their regular classroom and seated them in the quitest environment available at the school. The researcher gave participants a pencil and a copy of the Childrens Hope Scale. All questions and responses were read aloud. The researcher waited until all participants were fini shed and then read the next question. Group size varied from 2 to 13 and all children were tested within a three-week timeframe. When possible, all children at a school site were tested togeth er. At one site severa l children were absent requiring a second administration but all children we re surveyed within th ree weeks. The place of administration varied by school site but the short length of the survey and the researcher mediated administration enabled the researcher to re-focus childre n after the occasional interruption that occu rred in two sites. Abnormalities in Administration of the Childrens Hope Scale The princ ipal investigator sc ored all of S1s Childrens Hope Scales off-site. While scoring, the researcher noticed that two children who had taken the scale in the second group together had the exact same answers. The resear cher returned to the school the next day and retested each of these two children separately. At S3 the researcher was unable to secure a space that would allow for at least a one-foot space between participants. At S3 al l participants were seated no more than twelve inches apart. Also at S3 one child had trouble staying on task. Th e researcher sat next to this child. The child showed the researcher his answers to stay on task.


57 Interview About Childrens Future Goals Purpose of the Qualitative Interview At the hea rt of qualitative research is the desire to see meaning in context. A basic principle is that there is not one truth, but many. There is not one reality out there to be measured; objects and events are understood by different people differently (Rubin et al., 1995, p. 35). Physics looks for concrete principles and rules. Knowledge is contextual and changing when observing and studying people, rather than microor macrocosmic phenomena. It should be viewed through the lens of the complex and e volving society in which it is lived. The quantitative portion of this study provides a hope score for each child but cannot tell the story behind this number. The qualitative interview is designed to help understand the individual whys and hows in a story. Qualitative research gives voi ce to those that it studies. The oppressed have gained greatly from this type of research. It is one thing to see a statistic of how many families live in poverty, and another to hear the story of one family living the struggle. This study was designed using qualitative methods in order to give children a voice. The interview was designed to create a conversat ion in order to understand childrens future hopes. In this study the combination of quantitative and qualitative methods increases the value of the research. Quantitative methods were used in the administration and scoring of the Childrens Hope Scale. This scale was used to identify par ticipants at extremes of the scale in order to narrow the pool of interviewees to maximize results. If participants had been randomly chosen from returned permission slips important core concepts and dialogs may have been left out. Instead the survey enabled the use of purposive sampling of participants which enhanced the depth of the current study.


58 Development of the Interview The interview protocol was developed ove r m any months, and it took many forms. The final two-part eighteen-question dr aft was derived from the review of the literature and two pilot interview protocols. Pilot interviews were used to see if the questions w ould help the researcher to answer the principal questions of the study. Th ey were also conducted to refine language and insure participants a nd the researcher shared a common understanding of meaning of questions. A structured interview approach was used due to the nature of the pr imary objectives of the study. The interview began with broad questions and used probing questions for clarification, allowing a conversation to occur and meaning to be created and unders tood. Clarification was sometimes needed to create a sh ared vocabulary and understanding. Section one of the questionnair e contained nine questions. Th ese questions were designed to probe childrens educationa l and occupational goals for the future and the pathways thoughts they had related to their first-choice career, as well as other careers they did not choose. This section also addressed children s second-choice career options. This question was designed to see if children had considered other options and to determine whether this choice was related to high and low hope scores. The protocol also incl uded questions about other specific, not chosen occupations for two reasons. Firs t, the researcher wanted to see if children knew about these careers, and if so what they knew about them. Second, the researcher wanted to see if children could generalize goal-directed thinking to ot her occupations. Had ch ildren internalized knowledge about these careers and the knowledge one might need to obtain these careers? The second section of the questionnaire containe d nine questions as we ll. This section was designed to probe hopeful thought. How did the children envision themselves in the future? What did that future look like? This sect ion also addressed qu estions concerning each participants view of success and failure. Questions addressing reasons for the success or failure


59 of others were designed to see if children saw internal or external forces at work in goal achievement. The interview protoc ol is included in Appendix B. Collection of Interview Data After the Childrens Hop e Scale scores were tallied, five extremely low hope and seven extremely high hope children were interviewed. Each child was in terviewed individually, in as much privacy as was possible given school geogr aphy and availability of space. Participants were given codes based on their hope scores. Fo r example the first low hope participant will be named LH1, the second low hope participant interviewed was labeled LH2. The pattern continues for both low and high hope participan ts. The first high hope participant to be interviewed was labeled HH1. The following sections will describe the locations and events of the administration of the interview as well as any abnormalities that occurred All participants were taken from their regular classrooms to a separate location in the school for the interview protocol to be conducted. The space for the interview at each school was chosen by the teacher and identified as the quiete st area that was available. Participants were allowed to seat themselves and the researcher took a seat next to the child. The assent form was read by the researcher and confidentiality requ irements were clarified for the children. The children were encouraged to ask questions. After questions were answered the interview protocol commenced. The interviews lasted between twenty and forty five minutes depending on the child. During three of the interviews abnormalities occurred. One participant whose interview was taking a particularly long time took a short stre tch break in the middle of the interview. Two other participants on separate occasions were disr upted by the behavior of another child. In each of these instances the interview was st opped until the disruption was removed.


60 Analysis Scoring the Childrens Hope Scale The Childrens Hope Scale was scored by the re searcher using m ethods laid out by Snyder. The researcher scored each scale by hand. Snyde r has assigned a number value to each answer along the continuum of the scale. For example, if a child marks most of the time this response is coded as a If a child marks none of the time this response is coded a Each answer was given a number value; these number values we re then added together to obtain a hope score for each participant. The researcher did this by hand, after the administ ration of the scale. Interview Analysis The interview protocol was analyzed separate ly from the Childrens Hope Scale. The researcher read through the hand-written transcri pts of each interview protocol within twentyfour hours of the interview. The researcher noted potential core concepts as they emerged in a research journal. After all data were collected, the researcher reread eac h transcript individually and created an electronic copy of each. All participants answers to each question were compiled on a single list in order for the researcher to view all answers together. The researcher then used specific questions to guide interpretation of the data. For example, the researcher read questions using the following queries: How many childre n gave a second choice career? How many children gave no answer at all? Did the prestige level of participants first and second career choices differ? How many particip ants could demonstrate a pathwa y to their desired goal? How many participants demonstrated agency by identifyi ng an action they could take in the present to facilitate future goal attainment ? While looking for the above ques tions the protocols were also searched for evidence related to the three major concepts that emerged in the literature: goals, agency, and pathways. After this, the data we re separated according to hope scores. All high hope childrens interview transcri pts were read using the querie s like those liste d above; all low


61 hope childrens interviews were read using the same procedure. After this, the low and high hope participants were analyzed in terms of each othe r and then in terms of the group as a whole. Presentation of the Research Results f rom these analyses will be presented in the following chapter. The first section will present the results from the Childrens Hope Scale. The second section will present results from the interview protocol and will be divided into three subsections; goals, agency, and pathways.


62 CHAPTER 3 RESULTS Since the res earch was a two-phase process, results will be presented in two separate sections. First, the data collected from the Ch ildrens Hope Scale will be presented. After that, the information gathered from the interviews will be presented. Childrens Hope Scale The Childrens Hope Scales of twenty-eight pa rticipants were scored. The national average score on the Childrens Hope Scale is 25. The m ean hope score obtained by participants in the present study, 26.43, was slightly hi gher than the national average. There were differences in hope scores by school. Of the three schools sam pled the means were 27.17, 27.15, and 24.89 for school one (S1), school two (S2), and school th ree (S3) respectively. The range, median, and mode also varied by school (see table A-3 in ap pendix). From the twenty-eight completed scales, six children were identified as having extremel y low hope, ten children were identified as having extremely high hope, and twelve children fell in the normal hope range, as defined by Snyder et al. (1996) (see table A-2 in appendi x). Children who scored at or below 21 were identified as low hope participants. Children who scored at or ab ove 30 were identified as high hope participants. One school in the sample did not have a single low hope participant. The two other schools yielded both low hope and high hope participants The six children in the low hope group and the ten children in the high hope group qualified fo r the in-depth intervie w. The 12 children who scored in the middle rang e were not interviewed. Interview The inte rview data were compiled and analyze d. Three core concepts consistent with the current research on hope emerged from multiple analyses of these data. These three concepts were: goals, agency, and pathways. These concepts will be discussed in depth in the following


63 section. For reader clarity, each participant was given a code that included both letters and numbers. Each code begins with LH or HH. LH indicates a participant who had a low hope score on the Childrens Hope Scale; HH indicates a pa rticipant scored a high hope score. Numbers were then assigned based on the order of the in terviews. For example, LH4 fourth low hope participant to be interviewed. HH4 was the fourth high hope part icipant to be interviewed. Goals Snyder et al. (2000) define goals as the endpoints or anchors of m ental action sequences (p. 9). Goals are what one hopes to obtain in the future. This future could be rather immediate, such as making it to the grocery st ore before it closes, or more long term, such as getting into an Ivy League school. In order for a goal to be hope ful, according to Snyder et al. (2000), it must have a little bit of uncertainty. One must not be completely sure that the goal will be achieved. If one is certain of goal achievement from the out set than there is no emotional benefit from success. No feeling of accomplishm ent. There must be an air of mystery. The goal seeker draws on past agency and successful pathways to goal attainment while creating new pathways. When the goal is achieved there is a sense of accomplishment and that in turn helps boost feelings of agency. Likewise, there can be no hopeful goals if one knows for certain that achievement is not possible. If the goal is viewed as impossible, th en one will not have the agency to begin. Goals are the anchors of hope theo ry (Snyder et al., 2000). All participants in the study expressed goals. Each child had his/her own individual way of thinking about goals. There were also many f actors that impacted goal choice and how the participant viewed certain goals. Three goal patte rns emerged in the data: career goals, emotional goals, and material goals. These will be discussed in the following subsections.


64 Career Goals All participants, with one excep tion, gave a career goal when as ked what they would like to be when they grew-up. These careers ran the gamut from engineer (HH3), to park ranger (LH4), to cartoonist (LH5). All particip ants who gave occupational responses could elaborate on skills needed to obtain their chosen occupation, with one exception. One low hope participant, who wanted to be a cheerleader, responded only, S plits and jumps(HH6) when asked about the skills she would need to achieve her career goal. Th e average number of skills listed by all other high and low hope participants who answered wa s 4.2. For example LH3 stated that she wanted to be a park ranger. When the researcher aske d the participant to tell what she knew about the job, she said, I want to be a park ranger in Kentucky. You have to study about natu re and take care of nature. You have to learn how to treat nature (LH3). LH5 also gave a detailed response. He stated that he wanted to draw cartoons. When he was asked about the kinds of things he would need to know how to do, he said, Draw it, step by step, you keep going. Co lor it and add details. Be creative, be exactwhen youre in college you need to get an artist scholarship (LH5). HH2 also had a detailed idea of the skills need ed for her profession. HH2 stated that she wanted to be a writer and elaborated by saying, They write stories, childrens books, adults books, both. I would like to write stories by candlelight, not by electricity. [I need to know] nonfiction and fic tion, and I would have to ask someones permission to use their name [in a story] because it might hurt their feelings (HH2). When comparing high hope to low hope particip ants, there was not a clear difference in the prestige level of occupational choices. This finding is contrary to past car eer theory and research, which indicated that childrens o ccupational choices mirror the presti ge level of their mothers. In this study, eight out of 12 chose careers that fall in to the category of high prestige. The


65 remaining three rated low on prestige but can, in this modern er a, bring high prestige if one obtained the top level. For instance, a pro football player has much prestige in our society today. So too could a gymnastics coach, if she or he were to coach a college team or run a youth gymnastics program. Although goals can be short-term or long-term, all children discussed long-term goals in relation to occupational choice. There were no clear differences in the prestige levels of participants choices based on hope scores. Similarly, participants hope scores did not seem to impact their level of understan ding of their chosen careers. Emotional Goals Em otional goals in this study refer to participan ts references to emo tional states during the interview. It appears as though the children in this study link emotionsto goal attainment, whether positively or negatively. When participants were asked about their future hopeful lives, ten out of twelve gave a response that incorpor ated an emotion. These included happy, friends so you wont get lonely, (LH1), Hooray! Do stuff, youll feel good, (LH3), Happy, work at home more than at work, (HH3), and, Perfect, li ve in Lake City with family so I dont have to be fightn [the two boys that pick on him in his apartment complex], (HH7 ). When participants were asked what they thought their lives would r eally be like, only half of the participants included an emotion in their response. HH1 re sponded, be a writer. Helping people in the house that I wanted. Happy. HH6 said, Same as aboveI want my kids to be happy and eat fruit. Similarly, LH5 responded, Sometimes ups and sometimes downs, sometimes do good, sometimes not so good, and LH1 described her future life in this way: boring, work, if I have kids they will probably be destructive. Another aspect of the study where emotions played a role was in the childrens interpretations of what it would mean to be a success or a failure. Of the high hope participants,


66 five out of seven listed an emotion in their res ponse to what their lives would look like if they were successful. Three of these participants used the word happy to describe their successful lives (HH3, HH4, HH6). Two of the five low hope participants listed emo tions in their response to this same question. LH1 stated, good, not in jail, and LH5 said, bright, feel good, yeah I accomplished it. When participants were asked to de fine their lives as failures four out of seven high hope participants and two out of five low h ope participants mentioned emotions. HH2 said, Id be embarrassed, poor. Both HH6 and HH7 me ntioned that they would be sad. Both HH5 and LH2 stated simply bad, and LH1 said, not happy, poor, homeless. There were two other instances that dealt with emotions. First, when asked if school was important for being a success in life, HH5 stated, No, school doesnt make you happy. Second, emotions were curiously absent from the answers of all participants when asked if they ever think about their lives as grownups. Not one high or low hope participant mentioned an emotion in their description of their future lives. Participants mentioned solely material goals in their responses, and these will be presen ted in the following subsection. Material Goals Throughout the course of the inte rview protocol m any participants listed the attainment of material items as their goal, or as proof that a goal had been obtained. When participants were asked to describe their future lives as successful, half stated mate rial goals as objectives. In fact, two high hope and one low hope participant menti oned only material goals, whereas all other participants also mentioned emotions. The materially oriented participants responded with answers such as, have a PSP (Play Station Portable ) (HH7), and Get famous as a writer and get a big house, good paper and pens, and more candles (HH1). Asked what their lives would look like if they were failures, four out of seven high hope participan ts and two low hope participants mentioned material factors. LH1 mentioned being poor [and] homeless. HH4 mentioned,


67 Living in a trailer, no good wa ter, no good money, and LH3 said, living on the road making stuff for money. Id do it by a church so they would give me money. Five out of seven high hope participants li sted material objects when answering the question about what they hoped th eir lives would be like when th ey grew up. Examples include, have a lot of money, the good life, live in a big house, (HH2), big house with a lot of money, (HH5), and have a house, food, fruit, (HH6). Of the low hope participants, two out of five listed material factors in the picture of their hopeful grown up life. LH3 said she would live on a farm and LH1 said, not in a mansion because you can get lost in a mansion, maybe in a trailer or a house near here [the school]. When participants were asked to describe wh at they believed their grown-up lives would really be like, five out of seve n high hope participants mentioned material factors. Out of these five, four mentioned having a house, and two me ntioned money specifically. For example, HH7 said, lots of money. HH2 said, You never kn ow what kind of house youll have or how much you get paid. In sharp contrast, only one lo w hope participant mentioned material items explicitly in what she thought her life would really be like. LH 1 said, if I have kids theyll destroy the house. Agency Agency is the m otivational component to pr opel people along their imagined routes to goals, (Snyder et al. 2000). Agency consists of ones ability to feel as though one can achieve a goal, and it gives the beginning push towards go al achievement. Agency can also be tapped along the pathway to goal attainment If a certain pathway is not e ffective, then ones agency can motivate the individual to create a new pathway or a revised goal.


68 Belief In An Ability To Achieve Snyder et al. (2000) argues that all children ha ve som e hope, even if it is low. All children in this study had a projection of themselves in the future. They could state what they hoped their lives would be like, and could state what they thought their lives would really be like in the future. All children had the ability to hope, but not all children expected their dreams to come true. One of the largest gulfs in the data between high hope and low hope participants occurred in the differences between what they hoped their lives would be lik e in the future and what they thought their lives would really be like. High hope participan ts seemed puzzled by the question. Many stumbled over their answers, ultimately sayi ng things like the same, (HH6) or what I just said, (HH3). When they were asked to clarify, they simply re stated their previous answer of what they hoped their lives would be like. Some gave small addendums. For example, HH3 said, maybe a little different than wh at I just said, you never know, but none strayed too far from the original answers. In sharp contrast, not one low hope participant gave the same answer for what they thought their lives would really be like and what they hoped for themselves in the future. Answers ranged from less optimistic revisions, to bleak predictions. One low hope participant, when asked about future hopes, replied, Hooray, when youre a success you feel good. Elementary middle and high school were a success. If you have kids th ey go to school, (LH5). When asked what he thought his life would really be like he was less optimistic, Sometimes ups and sometimes downs. Sometimes you have exactly what you want. Sometimes you do good sometimes not so good, (LH5). When LH1 was asked what she hoped her life would be like she gave a lengthy and thought-out answer: I woul d have a horse, a dog, a cat, lizard, frogs, turtles. I might live alone not in a mansion because you can get lost in a mansion. Ill live in a trailer or a house near


69 here. Make sure my kids dont trash up the hous e like we do, our room is messy. When the follow-up question was asked to LH1 about what she thought her life woul d really be like she paused then made a sobering prediction, boring, wo rk, wont be the boss, if I have kids theyll be destructive. LH3 had no idea wh at his life would real ly be like. LH4 stated that the question was tricky, and LH2 said, simply, happy. In addition to participants evaluations of their own capacity for goal achievement, this study sought to investigate participants though ts on peoples capacity for accomplishing goals generally. The researcher asked participants if they thought anyone could grow up to be anything they wanted also revealed a re alistic view that ac hieving ones goals requires work. When the researcher probed for further information, HH6 and HH7 responded that they dont know why. HH5 stated, I learned if you se t your mind to something you get cl oser and closer to achieving that goal. HH2 said, Anyone can accomplish anything, work on weaknesses and go to college. HH3 replied, Yah, but you would proba bly have to pass certain things to do it. Everyone could but sometimes they dont. Mayb e theyre not so good at something or cant figure something out. Three low hope children believed any one coul d be anything they want to be. LH3, when asked why she believed this, stated, I dont know. LH4 said, Yes, because when you believe in yourself. Things can happen and come out good. Yes, because their pa rents cant force them to go places, LH1 stated. The other two low hope participants were not so sure that anyone could be anything they wanted. Y ou want to be a doctor but you th ink its too hard, suggested LH2. LH5 said, maybe sometimes you want to be st uff but youre not fit to be it. A different job will suit you better.


70 The First Push All par ticipants in the study were asked to give an example of something they could do right away that would help them achieve their desired career goals. The majority of the high hope participants (five out of seven) gave answer s that were specific and detailed. A participant who stated that he would like to be an engineer told the rese archer, me and my brother build stuff out of junk; we buy motors and use them (HH3). Another participant who wanted to become a veterinarian stated that she could learn more about animals(HH5). A third said, practice writing, help my writing skills improve research books, improve my hand writing and write a book (HH2). In contrast, only one low hope participant gave a detailed response. This participant, LH1, who wanted to be a veterinari an, said. If a dog came in right now and was hurt I could give it a massage. Because my dad give s massages and I saw him give a dog a massage. The rest of the low hope particip ants responses were brief and vague. Two participants simply responded, No (LH2; LH3). LH5, who wanted to be a cartoonist stat ed, art, and LH4, who wanted to be a park rang er said, tidy up liter. Agency Through-out the Journey In hope theory, a com ponent of agency is the ability to revi se pathways and goals and tap into ones motivation when goal attainment is placed in jeopa rdy. Having a second career choice provides one indication of whether or not participants have planne d for the option of revision to their stated goals. By already c onsidering the possibility that first choice goals may need to be revised, the participant has set up a back-up pathway, and can tap into reserves of agency to switch gears. In addition to hope theory, career theory talks about firs tand second-choice occupational options. It has been shown in career theory that as the family structure breaks down, children are less likely to have a second-choice career.


71 All high hope children in the st udy had a second career choice, should their first choice not come to fruition. All of the high hope childrens second ca reer choices were of the same prestige level or higher than their first choice (see ta ble A-4 in appendix). For example, HH1, HH5, and HH4 all would like to be doctors should their firs t choices of gymnastics coach, veterinarian, and scientist not work out. Originally, HH6 had stated that she would like to be a cheerleader when she grew up, while her second choi ce career would be President of th e United States of America. Only three of the five low hope participants stated an alternative career ch oice. Two were at the same level of prestige or higher than the first choi ce. LH2 went from vete rinarian to journalist, LH4 went from park ranger to veterinarian, and LH1 went from veterinarian to massage therapist. One participant (HH2), who was unsure of what she wanted to be, indicated that she had thought a lot about other options but just hadnt found one she re ally liked. She said that if she couldnt think of anything else, she woul d be a veterinarian like her best friend. A key difference between the high and low hope participants was the ability to describe skills and knowledge necessary fo r their second-choice career. All high hope participants could give details about the skills and knowledge need ed for occupational attainment for their second career choice (for example, tak e care of the sick and injured HH3, learn to treat and diagnose HH4). The number of skills listed by high hope participants ranged from one to eight. The average number of skills listed across the high h ope participants was th ree. In contrast, the number of skills listed by low hope participants ranged from zero to three. The average number of responses for the low hope participants was slightly less than one. Low hope participants provided fewer specifics. Two (LH2 and LH4) gave brief statements about skills needed in their second job (articles in newspaper, and take ca re of sick pets). Two participants (LH3 and LH5) had no answer at all, even after multip le probing questions by the investigator. LH1


72 provided the most comprehensive low hope answer by listing two skills or steps related to her second career choice of massage therapist; she could keep wa tching her dad work and go to massage school. Pathways Pathways are routes to desired goals, and ar e absolutely essential for successful hopeful thought, (Snyder et al, 2000, p. 9). Pathways entail both ones ab ility to create routes to goals and also ones ability to view oneself following al ong those routes. That is to say, strategies are created, and the person believes he/she can fo llow these strategies and be effective. A commonality between high hope and low hope participants was that they all saw school as a necessary pathway for achieving occ upational goals. HH5 demonstrated a deep understanding of the place of edu cation in the occupational attainme nt process. She discussed the need to get an education in order to succeed in the context of work. Many other participants did as well. LH3 said school was important for career attainment because you go to classes, teach you how to be. Teach you how to get a job. Th ey teach you how to do a job. LH5 said, At school you can learn a lot, some jobs like scientis t need science and math. And HH4 said that school teaches you things its hard to learn anywhere else. Like most other participants, these children demonstrated a strong und erstanding of how the world of work operates in relation to school. In response to the questi on about whether or not school is important in occupational attainment, HH5 answered, very much. You can t go to a grocery store and theyll teach you. In order to learn, you have to go to school because they are taught to teach us. If you work at Publix [a grocery store] no one at Publix is go ing to teach you to work at a recycling plant. Publix wont teach you to work anywhere else. Two high hope children stated th at their current school could help them to achieve their chosen occupations. All high hope participants thought that other schools would be relevant to


73 attaining their career goals, a nd two specifically mentioned college without prompting. All low hope children thought school was necessary. Ho wever, no low hope children explicitly mentioned college, and not one low hope child linked school to their chosen profession. Comments such as, school teaches you how to do a job, (LH2) and It shows you jobs like teacher, (LH1) were common. When asked if education was important for su ccess, all low hope partic ipants answered in the affirmative. In contrast, four high hopers beli eved it was important, but three did not. One did not know why they thought it was not important, one indicated that you coul d learn things from your parents, and another stated s chool does not make you happy, (HH1). Educational attainment and occupational attain ment are intimately linked, and it was with this is mind that participants we re asked explicitly a bout their desire to attend college and their reasons behind that desire. All of the children, with the excepti on of one low hope child, stated an intention to go to college. Of the 11 children who stated that they would go to college, eight provided specific reasons linked to job attainment and three referenced learning (for example, HH7 said, so I can get my education). LH5 expressed uncertainty about attending college and concerns that communicated his perceptions of ba rriers to college attenda nce. He said, Maybe, if you dont feel ready you can spend time working hard. You dont have the money. Of the eight who responded with answers that linked coll ege to future occupational attainment, the participants either linked college to their specific career choice or to jobs in general. For example HH3 stated, Thats where engin eer classes are at, and HH4 sa id, [you have to go to college to] be a scientist (HH4). Other participants ga ve comments that were not career-specific. HH1 stated, I want to get a good j ob and college helps. LH2 said, You need to know certain things to become a grown up and get a good job. A nd LH4 said, [after college] you get a good


74 career. The one participant that did not state a de sire to attend college said simply, I never thought about it before (LH3). The three core concepts discussed ab ovegoals, agency and pathwaysare the foundational elements of hope theory. The complex coordination of these elements is necessary in order to have and maintain hope. In the preced ing sections, the results of this study have been presented. The following sections present a comp arison of the key similarities and differences between high hope and low hope participants an d then a discussion of the significance and implications of these findings. Discussion and Implications Presented here will be a discussion of how the current re search study relates to the litera ture. This will be done by dividing the discussion into three parts; goals, pathways, and agency. After this discussion implications of the research and recommendations for educators and schools will be presented. After which reflec tions on future research will be followed by concluding thoughts. Goals In order to have hope one m ust have a goal (Snyder et al. 2000). Th is study appears to show that children at a young age have thought about what they will be in th e future, and that all children, regardless of hope level, have goals. As st ated by Snyder et al. (1 997) all children have the capacity to hope, to have goals, some are just stronger than others. This study also further helps to lend support to Gottfredsons 1981 theory that young children have thought about future occupational choices, and that th ese choices are realistic. In the current study all but one participant had a stated occupational goal. There was an agreement across hope scores of desired occupations both in prestige and type of wor k. All participants who had a desired occupation regardless of hope scores held similar aspirations One participant with out a goal could identify


75 pathways to goals and demonstrat ed agency, as such all participants in this study demonstrated hope. In order to begin on the journey through hope one must first have a goal to strive for, so it is here that our discussion of the finding will start. Ginzberg (1952) postulated that until the age of eleven children would respond to questions pertaining to future employment with what he called fantasy choice answers. Ginzberg classified fantasy choice answers as responses that were not grounded in reality or logical thought, that were wild and erratic in nature (Trice, 1995). He belie ved that childrens desires for future occupational placement would change quick ly and not be grounded in real careers or the childs interest or ability Contrary to this the research supports the latter theory of Gottfredson (1981). Gottfredson believed that children would have realist career choi ces by the age of five. The current study supports Gottfredson s research as all participants who answered gave a realist career choice. Ginzbergs (1952) suggestion th at childrens occupational ch oices are wild and erratic suggests that there should be no statistical link between their first choice career and their second choice career. Trice (1995) found that when you clustered childrens first and second choice careers using Hollands method the link between first and second car eer choices in children was statistically higher than chance. Th is shows that children were aspiri ng to a certain ty pe of career as their first and second choices a nd as such their choices were not erratic or wild. This suggests that children as young as five ar e making realistic and thoughtful choices pertaining to careers. This finding is supported by the current study as 10 out of 12 gave a second occupational choice and of those all but one were of the same prestige level or highe r than their first choice. In the current study 10 participants gave a sec ond career choice. As stated above of those participants nine stated occupa tions of the same prestige level or higher. These findings are


76 constant with both Trice (1995) and Augers (2005) who found that th e majority of participants in their studies who gave first and second caree r choices were of the same Holland scheme significantly above chance. Howeve r, Trice (1995) only had 16% of participants identify a second career choice and Auger a decade later would record similar results. Likewise, in the current study, two participants failed to identify a second c hoice career. One of the founding components of hope is ones ability to create goa ls (Snyder, 1997). In this study all children but one could identify a career goal. Af ter this goal is created one must feel as though they have the ability to obtain this goal. In Trice and Augers research the children who had an answer for the question of a second occupational ch oice gave a similar occupation as their first, but what about the 84% who had no answer? And, what about the tw o participants in the current study who had no answer? Agency Agency is the m otivational aspect of hope (Snyde r et al. 2000). Agency is what starts us on our path to goal achievement and is what helps us continue when barriers are encountered. In the current study agency appeared to be the biggest separation in th e thoughts and ideas of low hope and high hope participants. If one does not f eel as though a goal can be accomplished then the likelihood of one starting the pa th to goal achievement is deci dedly low. If one does not even start to achieve a goal, one cannot achieve. As goa ls are not met agency in turn becomes less and hope begins to plummet. High hope people are characterized by their ab ility to be flexible (Snyder, 2002). High hope people generally make multiple goals and cr eate multiple pathways to those goals (Snyder, 2000). If participants only have one career option, they do not have back up goals or pathways to those goals to draw on should they encounter a barrier to goal achievement. When one encounters a blockage to a goal that is when agency can again be tapped (Snyder, 2002). Agency


77 causes us to believe in our abilities and ourse lves (Snyder et al., 2000). In the current study all high hope participants had a second choice career. Having a second choice may be evidence that they foresee many options, many possible futures. They believed that they would be able to achieve one of their goals If they encountered a setback, they could simply go to plan B. By already having a plan B they demonstrated belief in their ability to achieve. Two Low hope participants in the study had no second career choice and the three that did had only vague ideas of the skills needed to obtain their second choice career. These low hope participants may be at risk for further lowered hope. Since hope is cyc lical (Snyder et al., 2000) as one goal is not achieved, the ch ild could possibly have reduced agency in pursuit of a second choice career, this lower agency level could mi x with less successful and thought out pathways to the attainment of an un clear goal. And cause further failure and reduced agency. Gottfredson (1981) postulated that as children grew older they would eliminate more and more careers from their repertoi re of possibilities. As careers we re removed they would almost never be reconsidered, thus a narrowing of possibilities would occur. Two of the factors contributing to this narrowing of choices are soci o economic status and ability. Hope in turn is affected by ones own perceived abilities. This perception is based on past successes and failures as well as perceptions of what others think you are capable of. As children see themselves as less and less able, as their hope falls, they begin to pe rceive the possibilities that are open to them as smaller and smaller, and thus this narrowing that Gottfredson discusses occu rs. This was seen in the current study, two low hope participants ha d no second occupational choice, thus they already were exhibiting fewer futu re options. It may be possible th at these low hope participants will only encounter a further narro wing of occupational choices if a pattern of unsuccessful goal achievement is created and subsequently hope lowe rs. Some participants in the study even stated


78 ability specifically. When LH5 was asked if anyone could grow up to be anything they wanted to be he stated, Maybe. Because sometimes you want to be stuff but youre not fit to be it. LH2 was asked the same question as LH5 and responde d, Not necessarily, you want to be a doctor but you think its too hard. Thes e low hope participants were demonstrating lowered agency. They had already begun to narrow their scope of what was possible, according to Gottfredson, they will never get those options back. Some of the high hope participants in the current study appeared to ha ve what Snyder et al. (2000) refer to as pie in the s ky hopes. Perhaps the low hope partic ipants are just being realistic and the high hope participants are out of touch wi th the realities of possi bilities attainable to them. HH7 wanted to be a football player when he grew up and HH6s s econd choice career was President of the United States of America. These are both statistically unlikely to materialize as viable career options, but does that mean that they would be better off having a lower easier to obtain goal? People who set high-level goals fa re better than their low-level goal striving counterparts (Snyder et al., 2002). As stated above one of the char acteristics of high hope people is their ability to be flexible and approximate th eir goal (Snyder et al., 2002) Thus, this little girl who wants to be president may achieve something different, but still in th e vein of President, perhaps she will be Secretary of State, or work for the United Nations. If she were to eliminate the idea of President because it appears to be impossible she would be beginning the narrowing process (Gottfredson, 1981) and would lose this possibility forever. This little girl shows a strong sense of agency, she believes in herself to ach ieve her goal no matter how high. The possibilities open to her are greater than her low hope counterparts. Every single child in this st udy had a hope, a vision for the fu ture. This is contrary to Ginzbergs (1952) idea of career development wher e he believed that at this age children would


79 still have wild and impulsive ideas of themselves in the future. This finding is consistent with Snyders assertion that all children have hope (2000). When asked what they hoped their lives would look like, all participan ts gave specific and descriptiv e responses, some participants responded with in depth hopes for the future. Many children closed their eyes and took time to think before answering the quest ion. All children have hope, even if its just a spark (Snyder, 2002). When the high hope particip ants were asked to describe what they thought their lives would really be like they were bewildered. Hadnt they alre ady answered that question? For the high hope participants in this study, there was no difference in what they hoped their lives would be like and what they thought thei r lives would really be like. H ope and reality were one and the same. These children had goals and believed that th ey were going to achieve those goals. This is consistent with hope theory. Since these childr en had high hope, they had high agency thoughts and believed that all their goals were obtainable. Consistent with hope theory these children fully believed that they would attain their goals. They had strong agency and as such may not have had many set back to goal achievement. As a result they still believed in their ability to reach their goals. Standing in contrast, not a single low hope ch ild believed that what they hoped for would come true. Every single low hope participant in the study gave a different response when asked what she or he thought their lives would really be like versus wh at they hoped it would be like. These childrens answers suggested they did not be lieve that they could achieve their goals. They may have already lost the agency to envision themselves as successful. Perhaps because of past blockages to goal achievement these participan ts were already beginni ng a cycle of negative thoughts. Since hope is cyclical (Snyder, 2002) achievement fosters achievement and failure begets failure. Without agency, goals and pathways are meaningless.


80 All high hope participants believ ed that anyone could be anythi ng they wanted to be, while three low hope participants were not so sure. They did not believe, or were at least skeptical, that anyone could be anything. The reasons they cited ar e consistent with the developmental stages of Gottfredsons theory. In stage four children begi n to choose careers based on perceived ability and social class (Trice, 1995). Much like agency past experiences create a perceived vision of possible futures. One participant stated, you mi ght want to be a docto r but you think its too hard. The participant, anticipat ing failure, begins to lower exp ectations. Hope is a cyclical process; as one succeeds one builds more confiden ce and gains more experiences to draw on in further goal pursuits. The fact that the low hope participants in this study were showing a lack of agency may be a sign that they have already be gun the cyclical proces s of lowered hope. As more of their short-term goals ar e not met, they may begin to believe that their long term goals cannot be achieved either. They may edit down wh at they are striving for and create fewer pathways to goal achievement. Evidence of this could be seen in two of the five low hope children already beginning to waiver on the idea of a college edu cation at the age of eight. As children fail to experience success in goal pursuit, they begin to narrow their conception of what is possible. This study focused on long-term goals. Even long -term goals begin with a first step, and a characteristic of high achievers is that they constantly work towards a goal (Snyder et al., 2000). In this study, five out of seven high hope participants could identify something they could do right away to help them achieve their goals. Two even stated that they had already started doing the activity, as is evidenced by the budding engi neer who takes things apart (HH3) and the aspiring author who writes at home (HH2). One lo w hope participant gave a detailed response of actions she could take immediately. However the actions LH1 outlined did not seem likely to aid


81 her in future goal achievement (she wanted to be a veterinarian and stat ed that if a hurt dog came in the room she could give it a massage). Here we may be witnessing the beginning of narrowed hope. She has created a pathway, but it will most likely not aid her in goal achievement, and as goals are not realized, ones ability to create agency and new pathways may falter. McDermott (2000) calls childrens ab ilities to create pathways waypower. In the a bove example the little girls waypower may not in fact help the dog. This in effect will not be classified as a lesson that can be used in further goal achievement. Of th e other low hope participants, two gave brief oneword responses, and the other two simply had no id ea of what they could do now in their lives to achieve their future occupationa l goals. The ability to feel as though you can attain goals is termed by McDermott as willpower. Willpower is analogous with agency thinking and is a crucial element of hopeful thinking. McDermott st ates that waypower and willpower thinking are learned in childhood and affect our hope in a dult hood. Here are low hop e participants are already, at the age of eight exhibiting ineffective waypower and low willpower. The seven high hope participants all of whom named a second-choice career, could, on average, identify three skills required by thei r second-choice professions. The three low hope participants who gave alternativ e careers could list, on average, less than one skill needed for their second-choice professions. This gives us an example of the dete rioration of pathways thinking. Perhaps the first to go is agency. Then as agency begins to deteriorate, pathways narrow. If these participants first choices do not work out, they will have one less successful pathway strategy to take with them to the next go al pursuit. If the pathways they have formed for that goal pursuit are already abbreviated, the likelihood of success is even smaller. Combined with the emotional pain that comes with failu re it becomes harder and harder to envision potential pathways or to summon the agency nece ssary to achieve a goal. In childhood one learns


82 the patterns of hopeful thought (McDermott & Snyder, 2000). These patterns are greatly dependant on the childs perceived ability to attain goals (McDermott & Snyder, 2000). If a child experiences multiple emotional setb ack, the child will begin to perceive that they are not able to achieve goals. A study of college students found that high hope participants expressed feelings of confidence; they felt energized and inspired to reach their goals (Snyde r et al., 2000). In the current study high hope participant s demonstrated feelings of self worth and ability. For some failure was simply not an option. When HH2 was aske d to describe what her life would be like if she was a failure she said, Id go to school agai n. Her agency was so strong that she felt she would never give up, and thus since she was al ways trying she would never be a failure. A striking difference occurred to th e counterpoint of the previous que stion. When participants were asked to describe their lives if they were a su ccess, three high hope and one low hope participant inquired on the meaning of the question, and more specifically asked for a definition of success. Although this finding did not correlate to hope scores, it is shocking and has possible repercussions for childrens agency. If they do not have a vision of themselves in a successful future, than it is possible that th ey may not have the beginning push to start on the path to further goal achievement. Having a second occupational choice has been li nked in career theory to family structure (Trice, 1995). As the conventional family structur e breaks down, children are less and less likely to have a second occupational choice. I believ e this can be explained by hope theory, and by agency specifically. As the child experiences setbacks in short-term, family-based goal attainmentperhaps parents dont get back together or a child is placed in foster carethe childs agency begins to disi ntegrate. Future hope depends on past hopeful experiences. Hope


83 begins with trust (Snyder, 2002). If the very foundation of a childs life (i.e. the structure of their family) changes then the child may begin to lack the trust to take chances. Hope is a cyclical process; our past successes and failures dictate how we will move forward. If we have not had successes in the past, we will create fewer goals and be less inclined to start on pathways towards them (Snyder et al., 2000; Snyder, 2002; McDermott, 1997; McDermott, 2000). In the current study, all high hope participants ga ve a second choice career. Of the low hope participants, three gave a second choice career, but two did not. Even after multiple prompts by the researcher, these pa rticipants simply responded with headshakes. They claimed they had never thought about it before. One of the high hope participants who appeared unsure of a second career choice talked at length about how she had considered certa in careers but had not yet found one that she liked. This high hope par ticipant had not decided on a second choice due to her lengthy selection criteria for a career. She did not lack a second choice because she did not believe she could achieve, but because she was being selective and was keeping options open but she had clear criteria for possi ble career choices and was activel y engaged in thinking about future career options. Pathways Pathways are the routes we take to our desired g oals. It was speculated by the researcher at the beginning of this study th at the difference between high hope and low hope children would be most evident in their pathwa ys thinking. Children would all ha ve high goals and expectations of themselves. They would be br imming with agency and belief in their ability to achieve their lofty goals. The difference would be that low hope children had fewer or unsuccessful pathways to goal attainment and as such would have lowere d agency in the future, which would result in even lower hope. As stated above this was not th e case. Participants in this study did not differ greatly on their abilities to crea te pathways to their goals.


84 Pathways are one of the major components to hopeful thought as defined by Snyder et al. (2000). According to past research, low hope children have poor pathways and high hope children have effective and robust pathways (S nyder et al., 1997; Snyde r, 2002; Snyder et al., 2000). However, the current study does not support this finding at least for elementary children. Though there were subtle differences in the pa thway structures of high and low hope children, these variations were not as striking as the si milarities. The majority of both high hope and low hope children in this study had cl ear and effective pathways to th eir goals. Children in this study demonstrated an understanding of what skills were required for certain care ers and had an idea of how to acquire those skills. When LH2 was aske d how she could learn to become a doctor she replied, By going to doctor school. This school can help (you learn) math, and we do the calendar which will help me to make appointments. All twelve participants in th is study answered in the affirm ative when asked if school was an important factor for obtaining their chos en career. There was a clear link between the participants future goals and the use of school as a pathway towards those goals. Three low hope participants felt as though thei r current school would be helpful in attaining their future occupational goal. Not one out of the seven hi gh hope participants felt as though their current school would be helpful in the process of goal attainment. Since high hope people have agency and pathways (Snyder et al., 2002) one might expect for the high hope partic ipants to link their current schooling to future attainment. In fact in every other indicator in this study high hope children showed remarkably higher levels of ag ency then their low hope counterparts. So why then here do low hope participants believe that their current school can help them and high hope participants do not? There is not hing to account for this anomaly in the research of Snyder and colleagues and it raises an interesting question about how ch ildren view school.


85 Implications The im plications of hope for educators and so ciety are enormous. Here implications will be discussed in two sections: first, the implications for educators, and second, the implications for society. Teachers Hope has been linked in the res earch to academic outcomes. Hope can be a predictive factor for grade point average, high school graduation rates, perf ormance on standardized tests, and college entrance examination scores. High hope scores have a predictive power to target students who are likely to succeed. As Snyder and colleagues have found in their extensive research, hope is learned. If hope is learned, and if it can predict posit ive academic outcomes, then hope should be taug ht in the schools. Educators are in a position to affect the hope levels of their students. Not only can educators explicitly teach hopeful thinking, but al so they can act as role models of hopeful thought for their students. It has been further shown in the research that a strong bond with a caregiver increases hope. Teachers of young childr en can create a bond, a true caring bond that lasts with each of their students. Teachers are also in a positio n to help parents create caring bonds with their children. Here teachers could ag ain act as role models of hopeful thinking, not just for students but for parents and other staff members. Teachers are also in the position to not just teach hope but to reinforce hope. Hopeful t hought is a cyclical process; one draws on past successes to motivate further prob lem solving and uses past stra tegies to solve new problems. The school day, and indeed a stud ents educational ca reer, is full of goa ls to be achieved, successes to be had, strategies and pathways to explore. Hope becomes even more important to teach in the schools as one begins to analyze why hope declines over time in some children. Fam ily structure, perceived ability, accessibility,


86 unemployment rates, and repeated failures all diminish hope. Children of lower socioeconomic status are more likely to encounter multiple barriers to hope, as they are more likely to experience life situations like those above. Children are also at a gr eater risk for low hope if they have witnessed a violent crime against a family member. Students who usually fall into these categories are often the ones that receive th e least encouragement and hopeful thought from school. According to Snyder, there are four stages that one passes through in the processional towards the death of hope. First, there is hope. A ch ild has a goal and sets out to achieve it. The second stage in the death of hope occurs when th e child encounters a barrier to goal achievement that they cannot navigate. Here, th e child enters the rage stage. Th e child still has agency, but the childs actions are misguided and will not result in goal attainment. In de spair, the third stage, agency is lost the child begins to feel as though trying is useless. The final stage, apathy, is when hope is abandoned. Hope is affected by childrens perception of their ability. They base this self-perception on what they think the adults around them believe them to be capable of. This is consistent with career research that show s that as children get older they be gin to pick careers based on their perceived ability and what is appropriate for th eir social class. Ability grouping, grade retention, magnet programs, and high stakes testing are just a few examples of the institutional ways that children create an idea of what they are capable of. If a child notices that he or she is always in the lowest reading group, or if they fail to perf orm adequately on a standardized test this can potentially lower their perceptions of what they are capable of. The Schools McDerm ott found that all childrens hope scores appeared better when children learned in a diverse environment where adequate per pupil spending occurred. The school system is


87 currently re-segregating itself, coming dangerously close to levels of inequality not seen since before the civil rights movements. Funding for schools is based on property taxes and as such serves to further disadvantage th e already disadvantaged. If children continue to attend de facto segregated schools, with inadequate funding, the research shows that all children may demonstrate a loss of hope. Society High hope scores have been linked to be neficial outcom es both psychological and physiological. High hope persons are more likely to engage in activities that will prevent them from every becoming ill, such as exercise. On ce a problem is detected, high hope people are more likely to get medical care and to adhere to the medical regiment pres cribed by their doctor. The cost to the individual and the cost to soci ety are greatly lessened. With such benefits, it would be in societys best interests to inoculate all its members with hope. Hopeful thinking facilitates success during unimpeded goal pursuits. However, hopeful thinking is especially helpful when one enc ounters barriers. The numbe r of barriers a person faces may not be equal across society. Many of the factors that lower hope, such as unemployment of parents, divorce or separation, and witnessing acts of violence, are more likely to occur in the lives of a lower SES child than high SES child. Furthermore, children from low SES backgrounds are more likely to encounter these barriers en mass. Likewise, lower SES children are more likely to suffer from certain illn esses such as asthma, and they are less likely to receive adequate care. All of these create barrie rs to goal achievement and ultimately may result in the death of hope if we do not take steps to prepare students to overcome barriers. As these children age they become the new generation in charge of the country, a possible nation of hopeless, undervalued adults.


88 Implications for Future Research The current study raises m any ques tions that could be addressed in future research. Snyder found in his research that pathways and agency scores on the Childrens Hope Scale are roughly equivalent. The current study f ound that low hope participants lacked agency. They did not believe in their own abilities to achieve the goa ls they had planned out for themselves. Further research may be warranted to tease out this fi nding that is incongruent with Snyders current theory of hope. Perhaps it would be beneficial for future re search to explore whether hope can be learned. The implications of hope as a learned skill c ould have far reaching affects for classroom teachers. If hope can in fact be learned, the next step would be to investigate if elevating the hope scores of children created positive outcomes in educational and occupational attainment. A longitudinal study of hope scores over th e course of childhood could prove valuable. This research would be necessary in tracking the possible fluctuat ions of hope scores over time, as well as linking future outcomes to hope scores We have a good picture of childrens hope at moments in time, but there is not a study that follows the pathway hope takes as one navigates through life. In order to see if hope can be taught, and that hope scores positively affect outcomes, a longitudinal study would be necessary. Conclusion It is no t enough to tell our children to dream. We must as teachers and as members of society insist that all children grow up hopeful. We must arm them with the sk ills not just to dare to dream, but to obtain that dream. We must make every child feel as though they are valued and that they future they hope for can be the future they obtain.


89 APPENDIX A TABLES Table A-1. Hope Scores and De mographics by School School Low Hope High Hope Moderate Hope Mean Hope Score M/FPercent White (in study) Percent Black (in study) Percent Free/Reduced Lunch (school wide) SS 1 1 1 7 24.89 0/2 0% 50% 66% SS 2 4 4 2 27.15 4/4 75% 0% 14% SS 3 0 2 4 27.17 1/1 0% 100% 66% Table A-2. Hope Scores by School SS 1 15 22 23 25 25 25 272933 SS 2 16 18 19 20 21 28 30333333343434 SS 3 23 23 28 29 30 30 Table A-3. Measures of Central Tendancy by School School Range Median Mode Mean S1 18 25 25 23.89 S2 18 30 33 27.15 S3 7 29 30 27.17 Table A-4. Participants Goals and Agency Participant 1st-Choice Goal 2nd-Choice Goal Difference between Hope and Expectation Immediate Goal-Directed Action School Important for Success HH 1 Gymnastics Coach Doctor No No No HH 2 Writer Veterinarian No Yes Sometimes HH 3 Engineer Artist Slight Yes Yes HH 4 Scientist Doctor No Yes Yes HH 5 Cat Vet. Doctor No Yes Yes HH 6 Cheerleader President No Yes No HH 7 Football Basketball Slight Yes Yes LH 1 Veterinarian Massage Therapist Yes Yes Yes LH 2 Veterinarian Writer Slight No Yes LH 3 No Response N/A No No Yes LH 4 Park Ranger Veterinarian Yes Yes Little LH 5 Cartoonist No Yes Yes Yes


90 APPENDIX B INTERVIEW PROTOCOL AND CHILDRENS HOPE SCALE Interv iew questions: Section I. I asked you before if I could ask you some questi ons, Im going to go ahead and start now; is that OK? 1. I am curious to know what you want to be when you grow up? 2. Tell me all you know about (specified interest); Im really interested to hear all you know about (specified interest). 3. Can you tell me a little about wh at grown-ups do at (specified interest)? What kinds of things will you need to know how to do? 4. You said youll need to know how to ________. Do you think school will teach you how to do those things? Will some other school teach you how to ________? 5. Do you think it should? 6. You said you want to be _____. Do you know any grown ups who do this? 7. Do you know how grown-ups get to do (specified interest)? What might you have to do? 8. Do you know something that you could do right now that would help you to get to do (specified interest)? 9. What if you wanted be a doctor? What w ould you have to do to be a doctor? 10. What if you wanted to be a nurse? What would you need to do to be a nurse? 11. What if you wanted to work at the grocery st ore? What would you need to do to work at the grocery store? 12. What if you wanted to be a plumber? What do you have to do to become a plumber? Section II. Now Im going to ask you a few different types of questions. Like before, though, I just want you to tell me what you think about them. 1. Do you think anyone can grow up to be anything they want to be? 2. Do you ever imagine your life when youre a grown up?


91 3. How will your life look if youre a success? What would it mean to be a failure? 4. Do you think school is important for becomi ng what you want to be when you grow up? 5. Do you think school is important in being a success in life? 6. Do you want to go to college afte r you graduate from high school? 7. Do you know anyone who went to college? Do you know anyone who didnt go to college? 8. What do you hope your life is lik e when you are a grown up? 9. What do think your life will really be like when you grow up?


92 Questions About Your Goals Name ______________________________ Directions : The six sentences below describe how child ren think about themselves and how they do things in general. Read each sentence careful ly. For each sentence, please think how you are in most situations. Place a check inside the circle that describes YOU best. For example, place a check ( ) in the circle (O) above None of the time, if this describes you. Or, if you are this way All of the time, check this circle. Please answer every question by putting a check in one of the circles. There are no right or wrong answers. 1. I think I am doing pretty well. O O O O O O None of A little of Some of A lot of Most of All of the time the time the time the time the time the time 2. I can think of many ways to get the things in life that are most important to me. O O O O O O None of A little of Some of A lot of Most of All of the time the time the time the time the time the time 3. I am doing just as well as other kids my age. O O O O O O None of A little of Some of A lot of Most of All of the time the time the time the time the time the time 4. When I have a problem, I can come up with lots of ways to solve it. O O O O O O None of A little of Some of A lot of Most of All of the time the time the time the time the time the time 5. I think the things I have done in the past will help me in the future. O O O O O O None of A little of Some of A lot of Most of All of the time the time the time the time the time the time 6. Even when others want to quit, I know that I can find ways to solve the problem. O O O O O O None of A little of Some of A lot of Most of All of the time the time the time the time the time the time


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94 Hagen, D. (1960). Career and family atmosphe re: An empirical test of roes theory. Journal of Counseling Psychology. 7, 251-257. Harney, P. (1990). The hope scale: Exploration of conduc t validity and its influence on health. Unpublished masters thesis, University of Kansas, Lawrence. Havinghurst, R. (1964). Youth in exploration and man emergent. In H. Borow (Ed.). Man in a World at Work. (215236) Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin. Hinton-Nelson, M., Roberts, M., Snyder, C. R. (1996). Early adolescents exposed to violence: Hope and vulnerability to victimization. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. 66, 346353. Hoffman, L. (1991). Career development in the elementary schools: A perspective for the 1990s. Elementary School Guidance and Counseling. 25, 163-171. Holland, J. (1985). Making vocational choices: A theory of personalities and work environments (2nd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Irving, L. Snyder, C. R., Crowson, J. (1998). Hope and the negotiation of cancer facts by college women. Journal of Personality. 66, 195-214. Irving, L., Tefler, L., Blake D. (1997). Hoping, coping, and social support in combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder. Journal of Traumatic Stress. 10, 463-477. Jackson, W. Taylor, R., Palmatier, A., Elliot, T ., Elliot, J. (1998). Negotiating the reality of visual impairment: Hope, coping, and functional ability. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings. 5 173-185. Kliewer, W. & Lewis, H. (1995). Family influen ces on coping processes in children with sickle cell disease. Journal of Pedi atric Psychology. 20, 511-525. Krauss, H. & Krauss, B. (1968). Cross cultural st udy of the thwarting-diso rientation theory of suicide. Journal of Abnormal Psychology. 73, 352-357. Kwon, P. (2002). Hope, defense mechanisms, and adjustment: Implications for false hope and defensive hopelessness. Journal of Personality. 70, 207-231. Laird, S. (1992). A preliminary investigation into prayer as coping technique for adult patients with arthritis. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Depa rtment of Psychology, University of Kansas, Lawrence. McDermott, D. & Snyder, C. R. (2000). The great big book of hope. USA: New Harbinger Publications. McDermott, D., Hastings, S., Gariglietti, K. (1997). The development of the young childrens hope scale Unpublished manuscript, Univer sity of Kansas, Lawrence.


95 Moon, C., Snyder, C. R., Rappoff, M. (2001). The relationship of hope to childrens asthma treatment adherence. Unpublished manuscript, Department of Psychology, University of Kansas, Lawrence. Piaget, J. (1977). The essential Piaget USA: Basic Books. Range, L. & Penton, S. (1994). Hope, hopelessne ss, and suicidality in college students. Psychological Reports. 75, 456458. Rieger, E. (1993). Correlates of adult hope, including hi gh and low hope adults recollection of parents Psychology honors thesis, Department of Psyc hology, University of Kansas, Lawrence. Roe, A. (1964). Personality structure and occupational behavior in man. In a world of work. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company. Roe, A. (1957). Early determin ates of vocational choice. Journal of Counseling Psychology. 4, 212-217. Rubin, H. & Rubin, I. (1995). Qualitative interviewing: The art of hearing data. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Snyder, C. R., Harris, C., Anderson, J., Holleran, S., Irving, L., Sigmon, S. et al. (1991). The will and the ways: Development and validation of an individual differen ces measure of hope. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 60, 570-585. Snyder, C. R. (1994). The psychology of hope New York, NY: The Free Press. Snyder, C. R., Cheavens, J., Sympson, S. (1997) Hope: An individual motive for social commerce. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice. 1, 107118. Snyder, C. R., McDermott, D., Cook, W., Rapoff, M. (1997). Hope for the journey. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. Snyder, C. R., Hoza, B., Pelham, W., Rapo ff, M., Ware, L., Danovsky, M., Highberger, L., Rubinstein, H., Stahl, K. (1997). The developmen t and validation of the childrens hope scale. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. 22(3), 399-421. Snyder, C. R. (1999). Hope, goal blocking thoughts, and test related anxieties. Psychological Reports. 84, 206-208. Snyder, C. R. (2000). The handbook of hope. New York, NY: Academic Press. Snyder, C. R. & Pulvars, K. (2001). Dr. Suess, the coping machine, and Oh the places you will go. In C.R. Snyder: Coping and C opers : Adaptive Processes and People (3-9) Oxford New York, NY: University Press.


96 Snyder, C. R. (2002). Hope theory: Rainbows in the mind. Psychological Inquiry. 13(4), 249275. Switzer, D., Gregg, A., Miller, J., Young, R. (1962) Early experience and occupational choice: A test of Roes theory. Journal of Counseling Psychology. 9, 49-53. Sympson, S. (1999). Validation of the domain specific hope scale. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Department of Psychology, University of Kansas, Lawrence. Trice, A. (1991). Stability of childrens career aspirations. Journal of Genetic Psychology. 152(1), 137-140. Trice, A. & Knapp, L. (1992). Relationship of childrens career aspirations to parents occupations. Journal of Genetic Psychology. 153(3), 355-358. Trice, A. & McClellan, N (1993). Do childrens career aspirations predict adult occupations? An answer from a secondary anal ysis of a longitudinal study. Psychological Reports. 72. 368-370. Trice, A., Ashton, D., Hughes, Amanda, Odom Catherine, Woods, Kimberley, McClellan, Nancy ( 1995). The origins of ch ildrens career aspira tions: IV. Testing hypotheses from four theories. The Career Development Quarterly. 43(4), 307-318. Utton, A. (1962). Recalled parent child relati ons as a determinate of vocational choice. Journal of Counseling Psychology. 9, 29-53 Westburg, N. & Martin, D. (2003). The relationshi p between a childs hope, a parents hope, and student-directed, goal-oriented academic instruction. Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education, and Development. 42, 152-164.


97 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Rose OHara-Jolley was awarded a bachelors degree in special educa tion with a minor in early childhood education from the University of Florida in 2005. She taught third, fourth, and fifth grade reading and writing, as well as first grade at the On e Room School House. Currently Ms. OHara-Jolley is a founding member of the Pave Academy in Redhook Brooklyn.