Adolescents with high mental toughness adapt better to perceived stress: A longitudinal study with Swiss vocational students.

Markus Gerber, Serge Brand, Anne Feldmeth, Christin Lang, Catherine Elliot, Edith Holsboer-Trachsler, Uwe Pühse

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    62 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    A mindset of mental toughness enables an individual to cope successfully with the pressures and demands of life. This 10-month study prospectively examined the association between mental toughness and stress resilience in 865 students (. M=. 17.86. years, 42.7% girls) from two vocational schools. Within each school, separate cluster analyses identified groups with different profiles of risk (assessed with perceived stress) and adaptation (operationalized with depressive symptoms and life satisfaction). Four clusters emerged characterizing students with well-adjusted (low risk, good adaptation), maladjusted (elevated risk, bad adaptation), deteriorated (low initial risk, worsening adaptation) and resilient profiles (elevated initial risk, improving adaptation). The latter two clusters reported similar levels of mental toughness at baseline, but resilient adolescents scored significantly higher on mental toughness at follow-up. After controlling for possible confounds, baseline toughness levels predicted depressive symptoms and life satisfaction over time. This study shows that mental toughness operates as a stress resilience resource. Mental toughness is, therefore a topic of interest for health specialists working with adolescent populations.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)808-814
    Number of pages7
    JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
    Volume54
    Issue number7
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - May 2013

    Keywords

    • Adolescence
    • Depressive symptoms
    • Life satisfaction
    • Perceived stress
    • Resilience

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