Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The primary purpose of this research was to study relationships between the personality construct of hardiness, transformational and regressive coping styles, and levels of endorsement of irrational beliefs. These relationships were studied by examining hypotheses and subhypotheses derived on the basis of Maddi and Kobasa's (1984) and Ellis and Harper's (1975) descriptions of their hardiness, coping, and irrational beliefs constructs. The significance of this study lies in its possible relevance to hardiness intervention. Accordingly, negative associations between certain irrational beliefs and hardiness might provide important leads as to which dysfunctional cognitions one might need to modify in order to facilitate the development of hardiness and transformational coping skills. It was also considered that the present research findings might provide more specific information about the content of cognitions involved in transformational and regressive coping. A sample of 177 Fort Hays State University students (75 males; 102 females), aged 17 to 56, responded to self-report questionnaires that included a measure of hardiness (Personal Views Survey; Kobasa, 1986), scales from the COPE inventory (Carver, Scheier, & Weintraub, 1989b) that were used to measure transformational and regressive coping, and the Irrational Beliefs Test (Jones, 1977). The results of the study provided varying degrees of support for all hypotheses and subhypotheses. Overall, composite hardiness was positively related to transformational coping, but was negatively related to both regressive coping and irrational beliefs. Transformational coping was found to be negatively related to the overall (full scale) endorsement of irrational beliefs and to the following five irrational belief scales, demand for approval, anxious overconcern, emotional irresponsibility, problem avoidance, and helplessness. Regressive coping was positively associated with overall endorsement of irrational beliefs and to the following seven irrational belief scales: demand for approval, high self-expectations, frustration reactive, emotional irresponsibility, anxious overconcern, problem avoidance, and helplessness. The high self-expectations and helplessness irrational belief scales were not only strongly related to composite hardiness, but were strongly related to each of the three hardiness components as well (Qs < . 001). It was considered that replication of these findings with persons interested in increasing hardiness would suggest that it might be productive to consider modification of these two beliefs as targets for hardiness intervention. Finally, evidence was obtained for the construct validity and internal reliability of the COPE scales as measures of transformational and regressive coping. It was suggested that it might be useful to continue to study COPE items as a way of measuring transformational and regressive coping.


Richard P. Schellenberg

Date of Award

Summer 1992

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1992 Lisa Ann Schlegel-Chaney


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