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Chan Hellman

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Chan Hellman, PhD


Chan Joined the University of Oklahoma in 2002. Chan is a professor in the Anne & Henry Zarrow School of Social Work and Founding Director of the Hope Research Center. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine and Department of Pediatrics for the OU College of Medicine and the Department of Health Promotion Science for the OU College of Public Health.

Chan’s current research is focused on the application of hope theory to predict adaptive behaviors, and hope as a psychological strength that buffer stress and adversity among those impacted by family violence. In this context, he is also interested in the impact of prevention and intervention services on improving client hope and wellbeing. 

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Hope Research Center

The Hope Research Center is focused on developing, testing, and implementing a trauma informed and hope centered framework for human service agencies.  The HRC partners with these agencies to conduct outcome evaluations to improve the hope and well-being through effective program service delivery.

Hope is the belief that the future will be better and you have the power to make it so. Hope is based on three main ideas: (1) the ability to set desirable goals, (2) ability to identify viable pathways to these goals, and (3) the capacity to dedicate mental energy or willpower to pursue these goals.

The science demonstrates that hope is a critical psychological strength.  Hope is easily measured in children, adults, and communities.  Hope can be increased and sustained through effective programming.  Hope is one of the most important predictors of positive outcomes for human service agencies.

Sample Publications:

1.       Gwinn, C., & Hellman, C. M. (2018). Hope rising: How the science of hope can change your life. New York, NY: Morgan James Publishing.

2.       Munoz, R. T., Quinton, K. A., Worley, J. A., & Hellman, C. M. (In Press). Locus of hope: External hope in parents/guardians as an antecedent of adolescents’ internal hope and life satisfaction.  Child Indicators Research.

3.       Munoz, R. T., Pearson, L. C., Hellman, C. M., McIntosh, H. C., Khojasteh, J., & Fox, M. D. (In Press). Adverse childhood experiences and posttraumatic stress as an antecedent of anxiety and lower hope. Traumatology.

4.       Sulimani-Aidan, Y., Melkman, E., & Hellman, C. M. (In Press). Nurturing the hope of youth in care: The contribution of mentoring.  American Journal of Orthopsychiatry.

5.       Hellman, C. M., Munoz, R. T., Worley, J. A., Feeley, J. A., & Gillert, J. E. (2018). A reliability generalization on the Children’s Hope Scale. Child Indicators Research, 11, 1193-1200.

6.       Hellman, C. M., Robinson-Keilig, R. A., Dubriwny, N. M., Hamill, C., & Kraft, A. (2018).  Hope as a coping resource for parents at-risk for child maltreatment.  Journal of Family Social Work, 21, 365-380.

External Funding:

As of July 2018, the Hope Research Center has secured $1.8 million through local, state, and federal funding.