Resilience and mental toughness as predictors of anxiety, depression, and mental well-being
Accepted: 2023 October 3
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To examine how strongly the attributes of resilience and mental toughness predicted levels of anxiety, depression, and mental well-being, a quantitative online survey of 281 adults was employed. The survey was conducted in the United Kingdom (April to June 2021) using opportunity sampling. Resilience, mental toughness, and mental well-being were measured by the 10-item Connor-Davidson resilience scale, the 10-item mental toughness questionnaire, and the 14-item Warwick-Edinburgh mental well-being scale, respectively. In addition, the hospital anxiety and depression scale (HADS) measured anxiety and depression, and the patient health questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) was used to measure depression. Hierarchical multiple regression was used to analyze which attribute was the strongest predictor of mental health. Mental toughness was found to be a significantly stronger predictor of well-being (β=0.54) than resilience (β=0.21), of anxiety (β=-0.70 versus 0.02, respectively), of HADS depression (β=-0.52 versus -0.15), and of PHQ-9 depression (β=-0.62 versus -0.09). We propose that mental toughness may predict well-being more strongly than resilience because it is a broader construct, incorporating proactive traits that enhance well-being. The findings suggest that training and interventions that enhance mental toughness in non-clinical populations may be more effective at promoting mental well-being and reducing anxiety and depression than those that enhance resilience. Further research is required to test these practical implications and to clarify why mental toughness is a stronger predictor than resilience for positive mental health.
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