Graduation Year

2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Psychology

Major Professor

Winny Shen

Co-Major Professor

Walter C. Borman

Keywords

Coping, Hardiness, Health, Personality, Positive emotions, Well-being

Abstract

Psychological resilience, conceptualized as the ability to bounce back from stress (Tugade, 2011), has garnered increased attention across various fields of psychology and related disciplines. Despite its popularity, researchers have yet to come to a consensus regarding the nomological network of this construct, as well as its distinctiveness from conceptually similar constructs (i.e., hardiness, grit). In this paper, I use meta-analytic techniques (Hunter & Schmidt, 2004) to quantitatively synthesize three decades of previous empirical work on resilience and related-constructs and their correlates, integrating findings from more than 400 studies. Results show that resilience overlaps substantially with big-five personality traits as a set and shows consistent, though more moderate, relationships with social support variables. Furthermore, results indicate that resilience and hardiness are not isomorphic constructs, as they demonstrate differential relationships with dispositional and situational correlates. Results also show that resilience and hardiness are both moderately to strongly related to health and well-being outcomes, in the anticipated directions, as well as proposed mediators in the literature (i.e., positive emotion, adaptive coping). However, incremental validity analyses consistently show that both resilience and hardiness only increment very marginally (i.e., on average 1-3% of the variance) over the big-five personality traits in predicting health and well-being outcomes. Taken together, this large-scale quantitative summary calls into question the distinctiveness of resilience from existing dispositional traits as well as its predictive utility in the health and well-being domain. Implications for future research, theory development, and measurement issues are discussed.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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