Document Type



Doctor of Education



Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Mark Pope, Ed.D.


Hutchison, Brian

Hickman, Clark

Singaravelu, Hemla


The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between hope and career development in students with emotional disturbances or behavior disorders who were attending an alternative middle and high school. Additionally, this researcher wanted to see if students’ participation in career counseling had an interactive effect. A total of 65 male and female middle and high school students were recruited to complete the Hope Scale, Children’s Hope Scale, My Vocational Situation, and a demographic information sheet. The data analysis included calculations with Pearson’s Correlational Coefficient, regression, and t-tests. Significant relationship was found between hope and career development. Statistical significance was also found between hope and males and hope and African-Americans. When career-counseling-participation data were added to the analysis, statistical significance was also found for hope and females, hope and African-Americans, and hope and age. The findings of this study point to the positive relationships between hope and career development that exist in students with emotional disturbances or behavior disorders. Participation in career counseling is related to elevated levels of hope in females, African-Americans and the students of different ages. This study discusses the findings and the important implications for parents, counselors, educators, and special education and disability programmers. Future research directions and practices are also discussed.

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