Date of Award

Summer 5-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Mark McMinn


Abstract Hope has been identified as an important factor in a variety of positive outcomes in psychotherapy, medicine, academic success, and for general levels of functioning. However, until now most studies on hope have been correlational in nature, and researchers have rarely sought to understand how hope can be facilitated. The present study considered the effect of prayer on experiences of hope in a national sample of Christian college students. An intervention group completed a guided prayer exercise once a day for 2 weeks. Pre and post-test levels of hope were assessed and compared to a control group, and a group that underwent daily relaxation exercises over the same 2-week period. The expectation was that hope would be increased in the prayer intervention group, but not in the relaxation group or the control groups. Results showed no significant time x group interaction effect when all 3 were compared, but a significant interaction effect was found when the prayer group was compared with the control group. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.