Although trait hope is thought to motivate goal-directed actions in the face of impediments, few studies have directly examined hope's role in overcoming obstacles, and none have done so while accounting for related goal constructs. We describe a study of 127 pediatric primary care providers who over the course of a year were asked to identify new cases of asthma and confirm previously diagnosed active disease by completing for each of their patients a brief survey validated for this purpose. These clinicians also completed measures of hope, self-efficacy, conscientiousness, and perceived obstacles to implementing a pediatric asthma management program. As predicted by hope theory, the agency component of hope buffered clinicians from perceived obstacles by facilitating the identification of asthma cases among high-hope clinicians in the face of obstacles. This buffering effect remained after controlling for self-efficacy and conscientiousness. We discuss the study findings in terms of current theories of goal-directed behavior and implications for delivering hope-related interventions, and we offer a testable hypothesis regarding when agency and pathways thinking facilitate goal-related behavior.
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Tennen, H., Cloutier, M. M., Wakefield, D. B., Hall, C. B., & Brazil, K. (2009). The buffering effect of hope on clinicians' behavior: A test in pediatric primary care. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 28(5), 554-576. https://doi.org/10.1521/jscp.2009.28.5.554