Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Nursing (M.S.N.)

Degree Program

College of Nursing

First Advisor

Patricia Underwood

Second Advisor

Katherine Kim

Third Advisor

Donald Paszek


Hardiness, a personality characteristic that is purposed to mediate the stress response and reduce the likelihood of illness, was studied in the context of adaptation to chronic disease. A descriptive correlational design was used to determine whether a positive relationship exists between the presence of hardiness and psychosocial adaptation to hypertension. The sample consisted of 50 individuals 60 years old or older. Data was analyzed using the product moment correlation coefficient, Spearman's Rho, and multiple regression. A moderately weak correlation (r =.39, df = 48, p =.003) between hardiness and adaptation was found. Other significant relationships identified included those between hardiness and role function, hardiness and social support, control and role function, commitment and social support, commitment and intrapsychic functioning, and between commitment/challenge and social support. Nursing implications, with emphasis on gerontology, are discussed.


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