The Relationships of Hardiness and Health: Effects and Mechanisms
Keywords:hardiness, neuroticism, health outcomes, coping, health behaviors
AbstractThe aim of this article was to review the research literature on the relationship of hardiness with health outcomes and describe potential mechanisms through which hardiness exerts its effects. In the first part we described the concept of hardiness and its components, operationalizations and some basic problems of its measurement, especially those coming from the overlap of hardiness and neuroticism. Furthermore, we reviewed the most important findings on the effects of hardiness on various health outcomes, focusing on its protective role from the deleterious effects of stress. Several potential mechanisms through which hardiness may influence health outcomes are emphasized: its effects through immune functioning, cognitive appraisal, coping, physiological arousal and health behaviors. These mechanisms, as well as the most important findings that show the role of hardiness in each of them are described. At the end we presented the most prominent methodological problems that arise in the studies exploring the relationship of hardiness and health outcomes, whose solutions may be a prerequisite for a step forward in understanding this relationship.