Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Family Sciences (MSFS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Family Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Ronald Werner-Wilson


Substance use disorder (SUD) is difficult to treat, as evidenced by its high prevalence and relapse rates. Research shows, however, that hope may have the potential to create effective and efficient change in the way we prevent and treat SUD. In order to utilize hope in this way, we must have a good understanding of what hope is. This phenomenological study aims to explore and describe the essence of hope through the lived experience of individuals in recovery from a SUD. Through interviews with 20 informants to generate data and an iterative interpretative process to identify shared meanings, hope emerged as an experience that is lived, spiritual, relational, revivifying, and felt. These results point to a need for more research regarding a theory of hope, improved scales for accurately measuring hope, and new language for talking about hope when using it as a tool in recovery and elsewhere.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

1. Department of Family Sciences, Chellgren Endowment, 2020

2. Department of Family Sciences, John I. & Patricia J. Buster Fellowship, 2020-2021

3. Department of Family Sciences, Alice P. Killpatrick Fellowship, 2020