The relations among hardiness (and its components) and demographic variables, objective health, disability, and perceived health were investigated for 33 women with rheumatoid arthritis. Hardiness and demographic variables were measured once while objective health, disability, and perceived health were measured at three monthly intervals. Hardiness and/or component scores were significantly (P < 0.05) related to age and to employment status but were unrelated to education and to marital status. The control dimension of hardiness was positively correlated with the average percentage of circulating T-cells (r = 0.38, P < 0.05), and with average perceived health compared to one's same age peers (r = 0.53, P < 0.01). Hardiness appears to be a useful construct for understanding adaptation to rheumatoid arthritis, and studies of patients with chronic diseases can shed light on the precursors and consequences of hardiness.
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