While social workers strive to build disadvantaged African-American youth’s resilience by improving services, rarely are those youths’ perspectives included in research. In a previous participatory action evaluation of an after school program, disadvantaged African-American youth prioritized instructors’ compassion, and said compassion engendered hope. This study explores their connection between compassion and hope more deeply. After summarizing the literature and 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 youth identified as compassionate and as engendering hope were encouragement, problem-solving, responsive empathy, and affirming that good choices could bring about good futures. Youth built their hope by internalizing their instructors’ compassion.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/katherine_mcrea/17/