Dr Elan Hope

Assistant Professor

Teaching and Research Interests

Dr. Hope takes an assets-based approach to explore factors that promote academic, civic, and psychological well-being for racially marginalized adolescents and emerging adults. I have two primary lines of research.

1) I examine psychological and contextual factors related to education, schooling, and academic well-being for underrepresented racial minority students. 

2) I investigate how sociopolitical attitudes, beliefs, and experiences (e.g., justice, discrimination, efficacy) relate to civic engagement from early adolescence into emerging adulthood.

I explore the assets racially marginalized youth bring to their lives and communities and what characteristics can be developed and leveraged to support positive youth development outcomes for these youth. In the Hope Lab, we use quantitative and qualitative methodology to garner a more nuanced understanding of academic, civic, and psychological well-being. Our research is deeply rooted in the belief that while there are common developmental experiences among racially marginalized youth, individual differences and contextual variation require a deep exploration of diverse pathways to success and well-being. The numbers tell us what happens most often, what pathways are most common, and what is most likely to occur. The stories give us insights into the lives of our youth, and the meaning they makes of their own lived experiences.


Book Chapters

Hope, E., & Spencer, M.B., (expected 2015). Civic Engagement as an Adaptive Coping Response to Conditions of Inequality: An Application of Phenomenological Variant of Ecological Systems Theory (PVEST). In N. Cabrera & B. Leyendecker (Eds.), Handbook of Positive Development of Minority Children

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles



Hope, E., Keels, M., & Durkee, M. (2016). Participation in Black Lives Matter & Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: Modern activism among Black and Latino college students. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 9(3), 203-215.

Moore, S., Hope, E., Eisman, A., & Zimmerman, M. (2016). Predictors of civic engagement among highly involved young adults: Exploring the relationship between agency and systems worldview. Journal of Community Psychology, 44(7), 888-903. doi: 10.1002/jcop.21815

Hope, E. (2016) Preparing to participate: The role of youth social responsibility and political efficacy in civic engagement for Black early adolescents. Child Indicators Research, 9(3), 609-630. doi: 10.1007/s12187-015-9331-5

Hope, E., Hoggard, L., & Thomas, A. (2015). Emerging into adulthood in the face of racial discrimination: Physiological, psychological, and sociopolitical consequences for African American youth. Translational Issues in Psychological Science, 4(1), 342-351. doi: 10.1037/tps0000041

Thomas, A. & Hope, E. (2015). Walking away hurt, walking around scared: A cluster analysis of violence exposure among young Black males. Journal of Black Psychology, Advanced Online Publication, doi: 10.1177/0095798415603539

Hope, E., Skoog, A., & Jagers, R. (2014). “It’ll never be the White kids, it’ll always be us”: Black high school students’ evolving critical analysis of racial discrimination and inequity in schools. Journal of Adolescent Research, 30(1), 83-112. doi: 10.1177/0743558414550688

Hope, E., & Jagers, R. (2014). The role of sociopolitical attitudes and civic education in the civic engagement of Black youth. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 24(3), 460-470. doi: 10.1111/jora.12117

Hope, E., Chavous, T., Jagers, R., & Sellers, R. (2013). Connecting self-esteem and achievement: Diversity in academic identification and dis-identification patterns among Black college students. American Educational Research Journal, 50(5), 1122-1151. doi: 10.3102/0002831213500333


  • PhD in Education & Psychology from University of Michigan, 2013
  • MS in Psychology from University of Michigan, 2010
  • BA in Psychology from Smith College, 2008