OT: Hardiness

Hi Folks,

To help me consolidate knowledge I like to write a summary in my
own words. By posting it on ASD others can share in the benefits and
the feedback I receive from others will help correct mistakes and
extend my knowledge in ways I hadn't suspected.

This summary of a characteristic called Hardiness is based on the
research of Suzanne C Ouelette, PhD. She had concerns about
unreservedly accepting the hypothesis that stress causes illness.
The literature on stress is full of positive correlations between
stress and illness. However there were, she contended, plenty of
people in stressful situations who were healthy.

The question was why.

The multifactorial personality feature she unearthed in her research
she called Hardiness. It is sort of the opposite to Helplessness.

As a memory aid for the three most important factors she discovered in
her research she called them the Three Cs.

Commitment, Control and Challenge.

Commitment = having a sense of purpose, a meaningful existence.

It reminds me strongly of Victor Frankl's Logotherapy.
Survivors give their lives meaning.
It has had a powerful influence on me

Control = having a sense of being in charge of one's life.
That what one does matters.

Challenge = being an opportunist in uncertain times.
Thriving on change.

The ideas are pretty simple.

Do they make a difference?

For a group of executives facing restructuring she discovered that
their health was strongly dependent on how many of these factors they

Here are the percentage who experienced illness
With none 92%
With one 72%
With two 58%
With three plus exercise and family support 8%

The three hardiness factors were more powerful than exercise and
family support.

Sometimes family support could even be a negative factor.


Well some people used family support to reinforce alienation,
passivity and dependence. The healthy ones discussed what was
happening and used the support to gain better solutions. They were
also willing to reciprocate.

Does Hardiness necessarily lead to better life expectancy?

Not necessarily.
What it more often does is increase the quality of life.
She did much her research on rheumatic arthritis, an autoimmune
disease similar in that respect to T1 diabetes. What she found was
that the immune system functioned more appropriately.

Sometimes it increases life expectancy but it should never be thought
that if one's life is not extended that one lacked hardiness. There
are too many other factors. Besides there are already enough ways to
feel guilty without adding to the list.

While searching scholar.google I came across the following perspective
on oncology nursing.


It adds some other factors.

Thank you for the opportunity to support others and in turn support
Quentin Grady ^ ^ /
New Zealand, >#,#< [
/ \ /\
"... and the blind dog was leading."