Discuss Personality as a Medicating Factor in Response to Stress – Type a, External/Internal, Focus of Control and Hardness.
Kobasa has presented evidence that people who have high scores on scales measuring hardiness are significantly less likely to suffer stress related physical and psychological disorders than those with low scores. In theory their positive approach means that life events are not seen as stressful but as challenges and opportunities that can be overcome. This leads to less activation of the stress response and its negative consequences. Kobasa’s studies of personality and stress have identified other factors involved in coping with stress and have implications for stress management. Using previous work suggesting that physical exercise and social support also protected against stress related illness, Kobasa rated participants on the presence or absence of hardiness, social support and regular exercise. In this study they followed the participants and assessed the severity of any subsequent psychological – depression and anxiety or physical illness. Results showed clearly that participants with no protective factors had higher scores of illness scales than any other group. In addition the presence of one, two or all three protective factors were associated with steadily decreasing illness scores. This implied that the factors acted additively in improving resistance to stress. Of the three, hardiness seemed to have the