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Hardiness and Health

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Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine


Personality hardiness


Hardiness is a personality construct composed of three traits – control, commitment, and challenge – that are theorized to make one resilient in the face of stress. Individuals high in hardiness tend to believe and act as if life experiences are controllable (control), to engage meaningfully in life activities and to appraise these activities as purposeful and worthy of investment even in the face of adversity (commitment), and to view change in life as a challenge toward growth and development rather than as a threat to security (challenge). Based on existential personality theory, the combination of these characteristics is believed to provide individuals with the courage and motivation to cope adaptively with life stress, thereby buffering its adverse effects on health.


Hardiness has historical significance because it played a significant role in the re-emergence of research examining the relationship between personality and...

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References and Readings

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Correspondence to Deborah J. Wiebe .

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© 2013 Springer Science+Business Media, New York

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Wiebe, D.J. (2013). Hardiness and Health. In: Gellman, M.D., Turner, J.R. (eds) Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine. Springer, New York, NY.

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  • Print ISBN: 978-1-4419-1004-2

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