Coping processes as mediators of the relationship between hardiness and health

Paula G. Williams, Deborah J. Wiebe, Timothy W. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


Hardiness has been hypothesized to moderate the impact of stress on health by influencing coping responses, but little attention has been focused upon these associations. This study examined the relationship among hardiness, coping, and illness while attending to recent criticisms of the hardiness literature including the potential overlap with neuroticism, whether hardiness is a unitary construct, and the predominant use of male samples. Hardiness was found to be positively related to adaptive coping variables and negatively related to maladaptive coping variables. Problem-focused, support-seeking, and avoidant coping were found to mediate the hardiness-illness relationship. Although these hardiness-coping relationships were partially independent of the influence of neuroticism, the relationship of both coping and hardiness with self-reported illness appeared to result from the common influence of neuroticism. Consistent with previous research, the commitment and control components correlated most consistently with coping variables, and predicted hardiness effects were most consistently demonstrated for males.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-255
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 1992


  • coping
  • hardiness
  • neuroticism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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