Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

Living Edition
| Editors: Marc Gellman

Hardiness and Health

  • Deborah J. Wiebe
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6439-6_957-2



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 reemergence of research examining the relationship between personality and...

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References and Further Reading

  1. Funk, S. C. (1992). Hardiness: A review of theory and research. Health Psychology, 11, 335–345.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Kobasa, S. C. (1979). Stressful life events, personality and health: An inquiry into hardiness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37, 1–11.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Kobasa, S. C., Maddi, S. R., & Kahn, S. (1982). Hardiness and health: A prospective study. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 42, 168–177.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Maddi, S. R. (2013). Hardiness: Turning stressful circumstances into resilient growth. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands. doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-5222-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Maddi, S. R., & Khoshaba, D. M. (2001). HardiSurvey III-R: Test development and internet instruction manual. Irvine: Hardiness Institute.Google Scholar
  6. Wiebe, D. J., & Williams, P. G. (1992). Hardiness and health: A social psychophysiological perspective on stress and adaptation. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 11, 238–262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychological SciencesUniversity of California, MercedMercedUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Marc D. Gellman
    • 1
  1. 1.Behavioral Medicine Research Center, Department of PsychologyUniversity of MiamiMiamiUSA