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Sylvia Xiaohua Chen

Subject Psychology

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405161251.2009.x


Based on existential theory, hardiness represents a set of attitudes or beliefs conceptualized as courage and motivation to face stressful circumstances. According to Kobasa, hardiness characterizes individual differences in reactions to stressful life events. In positive psychology, hardiness has been identified as a strong correlate of subjective well-being and a pathway to resilience in the face of loss and trauma. The construct of hardiness was proposed in a 12-year longitudinal study of managers at Illinois Bell Telephone from 1975 to 1986, conducted by Maddi and Kobasa with colleagues. Among middle- and upper-level executives with high levels of stress, individuals demonstrating hardy attitudes were more likely to remain healthy and continue to thrive. Ongoing research has indicated that hardiness enhances resiliency and buffers stress-illness relation in studies using retrospective and prospective designs. As a personality trait predictive of health, performance, and conduct outcomes, hardiness consists of three dimensions termed the three Cs of commitment (vs. alienation), control (vs. powerlessness), and challenge (vs. threat). First, hardy individuals who are high in commitment tend to have a strong sense of purpose or meaning rather than experience alienation and isolation from people and events. Second, hardy individuals who are high in control try to influence ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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