Department of Psychology
Three studies examined whether personality-based hardiness would be associated with mental health benefits in contexts of gender discrimination. Hardy women encountering both a laboratory simulation and a hypothetical scenario of discrimination showed greater self-esteem and less negative affect than low hardy women. However, these benefits were mediated by the use of specific attributions, suggesting that the well-being in hardy women may have been achieved through minimizing the pervasiveness of discrimination. Study three showed this mediation pattern occurred only for participants exposed to higher threat scenarios versus lower threat scenarios of discrimination. Thus, minimizing the pervasiveness of discrimination may have been a threat-reducing tool for high hardy women. Bandura’s (1997) self-efficacy theory was used as a possible explanation for this finding.
Foster, Mindi D. and Dion, Kenneth L., "Dispositional Hardiness and Women’s Well-Being Relating to Gender Discrimination: The Role of Minimization" (2003). Psychology Faculty Publications. 44.