Personality as a Mediating Factor in Response to Stress

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Type A personalities are hard driving, impatient, aggressive, competitive, achievement orientated, hostile, do two things at once, do daily activities such as eat walk and talk rapidly. These types of people have higher bloody cholesterol and are at greater risk of coronary heart disease than type B’s. However despite the fact that Type A’s seem to be at risk of stress related illness, many of them survive quite happily with their pressured and competitive lives. One of the key factors in managing stress is a strong sense of commitment control and challenge which are key elements of the ‘hardy personality’ which is proposed to be resistant to the damaging effects of stress. There is no reason why type A’s should not be able to show high signs of commitment and control. In fact they are expected to as they are high achievers and so are likely to be very committed and they like to so everything themselves as they don’t believe anyone else could do it as well, they have a strong sense of control. According to Kobasa the concept of hardiness is central to understanding why some people are vulnerable to stress and some resistant. Hardiness includes a range of personality factors, as discussed above, which if present defend against the negative effects of stress: Control is the belief that you can influence what happens in your life rather than giving control to outside influences. It is similar to locus of control and attributional style which is the tendency to attribute causes either to yourself (dispositional attributional) or to external factors over which you have no control (situational attribution). Also commitment, which gives people a sense of purpose and involvement in the world around them, including people as well as jobs and careers. The world is seen as something to engage with rather than something to stand back from. Committed people tend to resist giving up in times of stress. There is also challenges in the form of life changes or opportunities...
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