Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial/Organizational Psychology (PhD)


Industrial/Organizational Psychology

First Advisor/Committee Member

Robert B. McKenna, Ph.D.

Second Advisor/Committee Member

Katy Tangenberg, Ph.D.

Third Advisor/Committee Member

Jama Rand, Ph.D.


Hope, Failure, Leadership, Social support


The research on hope has focused on how individuals build and maintain hopeful emotions through their own successful attempts of achieving their goals using personal agency and pathways. Success in meeting the goal leads to higher levels of hope within an individual and an increased belief that they can achieve more difficult tasks, while failure leads to a decrease in levels of hope (Helland & Winston, 2005; Snyder, Rand, & Sigmon, 2002; Snyder, Shorey, Cheavens, Pulvers, Adams, & Wiklund, 2002; Snyder, Irving, & Anderson, 1991). The purpose of this study was to explore the moderating relationship of strategic social support on levels of hope despite ratings of experience with failure. The sample was sourced from participants in an online leadership development tool. Once outliers were removed and missing data was managed through multiple imputation, the final sample for this study was 573. The age range was 21 to 97 with 56.2% identifying as female. Moderation analyses were conducted using PROCESS macro for SPSS (Model 1 and Model 2). While interaction effects were insignificant, main effects for social support on levels of hope were significant (B = 0.154, p = .007). Furthermore, there was a significant main effect of relational strategic social support (emotional support, advocates, and sources of feedback) on levels of hope (B = 0.141, p = .05). Additional exploratory analyses found that both sources of feedback (B = 0.141, p = .000) and advocates (B = 0.121, p = .0184) had significant main effects on hope when assessed separately. The results of this study indicate that strategic social support may have a key role to play in building and sustaining levels of hope and be worth the investment and effort to connect individuals with the sources of support they need to increase levels of hope.