Perceptions of hope and hopelessness among low-income African American adolescents

Dana Harley, (2011) in her dissertation, describes how PhotoVoice was used to explore the feelings of "hope and hopelessness among poor African American adolescents".

This offered unique perspectives on the lives of these marginalised communities and also allowed for genuine expression of sensitive topics to take place.

"The analyses yielded important information about how hope and hopelessness are experienced and perceived in the everyday lives of the youth. Hope generated five themes including caring connections, spirituality, education, "basic needs,” and “gonna make it mentality.” Perceptions of hopelessness were connected to negative attitudes and beliefs, external constraints, negative behaviors, and deleterious environmental conditions." (Harley, 2011)


  • Risk and Resilience Theory
  • Hope Theory
  • Hopelessness
  • Possible Selves
  • Methodology
  • Location
  • Sampling and Participants
  • Measures and Instrumentation
  • Procedures
  • Institutional Review Board
  • Analysis
  • Strategies for Enhancing Rigor
  • Limitations
  • Results
  • Themes
  • Discussion and Implications
  • Description of Participants by Pseudonyms, Gender, Grades and Future Aspirations


Harley, D. M. (2011). Perceptions of hope and hopelessness among low-income african american adolescents. (Doctoral dissertation, The Ohio State University), Available from OhioLINK ETD Center. (osu1313009132) Retrieved from

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