Resilience In Stress Psychology

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What is meant by the term ‘resilience’ with regard to response to stressful events? One resilience factor is ‘hardiness’, discuss how this factor can be protective against PTSD.

In this essay the multiple facets of ‘psychological resilience’ will be explored and discussed, with reference to coping with stressful life events. Also, the concept of ‘stress-hardy’ personalities will be examined, particularly in terms of how they appear to reduce one’s likelihood of developing stress-related disorders such as anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The American Psychological Association (APA) defines the term ‘psychological resilience’ as “adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress…[and]
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These primary factors consisted of: “a stronger commitment to self, an attitude of vigorousness toward the environment, a sense of meaningfulness, and an internal locus of control” (Kobasa, 1979). These factors were subsequently reduced into 3 simple trait descriptors, together providing a ‘stress-hardy’ personality: commitment, control and challenge. These factors are proposed to provide the “courage and motivation” required to transform stressful experiences into opportunities for personal growth (Maddi, 2004). However, hardiness has also been advocated as more all-encompassing than simply a trio of attitudes, suggesting it as a complete style of personality (alongside the ‘big five’ personality styles) because it contains “cognitive, emotional and behavioural qualities” influencing how people react and cope with stressful events (Bartone,…show more content…
By discovering how hardiness can affect health, we may achieve this. Various health outcomes have been repeatedly linked with increased hardiness, including reduced anxiety, depression, and PTSD likelihoods; there seems to be a buffering effect provided by the ‘hardiness traits’. For example, one psychoneuroendocrinological investigation found hardiness to be associated with less psychological distress compared to non-stress-hardy individuals (Zorilla et al, 1995). It is thought that hardiness acts as a stress-reducing agent by enabling appropriate coping strategies, such as problem-focused coping (PFC) or emotional-approach coping (EAC) depending on the situational context and appropriateness. High hardiness has also been correlated with increased stress tolerance in military personnel, as those who successfully completed a high-stress ‘Special Forces’ course had significantly raised hardiness levels compared to those who did not pass (Bartone et al, 2008). This finding further supports the concept of hardiness acting as a buffer against stress and stress-linked disorders. Furthermore, other earlier findings have suggested that “hardiness protects against the ill effects of stress, particularly under high- and multiple-stress

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