Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Victoria Shivy


For offenders returning to society at record levels, securing work looms as one of the most crucial factors in successful reentry. Work hope is a construct that seeks to measure the relative presence of goals of securing desired work, thoughts about how to achieve those goals, and agency to achieve those goals, even in the presence of obstacles. This study sought to examine relationships among work hope, the socioemotional variables of attachment, emotion regulation, physical, relational, and workplace victimization, and coping, and the career-related variables of perceptions of career-related barriers and complexity level of career goals. The sample comprised cohorts from eight different correctional centers (N = 111, 72.1% male, M = 37.97, SD = 10.02), who participated in three waves of a longitudinal study. Four path models were run to model the relationship among work hope and the socioemotional variables, but none of the models satisfied all designated fit indices. The model with the combination of the most adequate fit and theoretical support found significant direct effects from Time 1 anxious attachment, but not avoidant attachment, to Time 1 difficulties with emotion regulation. Significant direct effects were found from Time 1 avoidant attachment and difficulties with emotion regulation, but not anxious attachment, to Time 3 avoidant coping. Significant direct effects were also found from Time 3 avoidant coping to Time 3 work hope. Relational, physical, and workplace victimization were not significantly related to work hope or other socioemotional variables. This study also found that work hope was significantly related to perceptions of career-related barriers (r = -.30). Overall, study findings add to the construct validity of work hope and highlight the importance of addressing socioemotional variables such as attachment, emotion regulation, and coping in preparing offenders for successful reentry and obtaining work.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

December 2013

Included in

Psychology Commons