Families in Society
While social workers strive to build disadvantaged African American youths’ resilience by improving services, rarely are those youths’ perspectives included in research. In a previous evaluation of an after-school program, disadvantaged African American youths prioritized instructors’ compassion and said compassion engendered hope. This study explores their connection between compassion and hope more deeply. Focusing on Snyder’s hope theory, this study examines the connection between compassion and hope as individual traits (using standardized scales) and as relational, action-based experiences (using qualitative analysis of interview data). Instructor actions that youths identified as compassionate and as engendering hope were encouragement, problem solving, responsive empathy, and affirming that good choices could bring about good futures. Youths built their hope by internalizing their instructors’ compassion.
Deanna Guthrie, Victoria Ellison, King Sami, and Katherine Tyson McCrea Professor. "Clients’ hope arises from social workers’ compassion: Young clients’ perspectives on surmounting the obstacles of disadvantage" Families in Society 95.2 (2014).
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© 2014 Alliance for Children and Families.