Investigation into the elements contributing to the constructs of sense of coherence and hardiness with particular reference to clinical utility

  • Linda Gibson

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Sense of Coherence consists of 3 dimensions; comprehensibility, manageability and meaningfulness and Hardiness consists of dimensions; control, challenge and commitment. These are considered to be personal approaches to life which increase resilience, both improving and prolonging health. They have been widely accepted by the psychological community and used in both clinical and occupational settings. Despite their wide appeal however, there appear to be considerable questions surrounding their validity.

The validity and clinical utility of these 2 questionnaires was examined in relation to personality using the Eysenck Personality' Inventory and to psychological well-being using the General Health Questionnaire 12 -item version.

Data were collected from university students, Open University students, and a group of men from mixed occupational backgrounds such as Social Services, Police, National Health Service. These were examined using correlational statistics, differences, distributions, non-linear relationships, and Confirmatory Factor Analysis.

Findings suggested that personality may be a confounding variable in the measurement of the these constructs and that this may explain the relationship with psychological health. Sex differences were also found in the scores and were considered as a possible extraneous variable in interpretation of findings which are based on mixed sex data. The factor structure of each questionnaire was found to be inconsistent with those proposed by the original authors and it was recommended that the measures should not be used clinically in their present form.
Date of AwardAug 1999
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorMalcolm Cook (Supervisor)

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