(Updated Oct. 2017)  

Welcome to the hardiness-resilience website! This site provides research and background information on the Dispositional Resilience Scale – DRS, a valid and reliable instrument for measuring the personal resilience qualities summarized as psychological hardiness. The current DRS15-R is the result of 30 years of research and scale development work.

You can view the list of research products currently available here:


NOTE:  The DRS has recently been acquired by Multi-Health Systems (MHS), a leading developer of scientifically validated assessments for more than 30 years. Please contact them for further assistance, by sending an email to permissions@mhs.com.

What is hardiness?

Hardiness was first articulated by Suzanne (Ouellette) Kobasa in the 1979 article “Stressful life events, personality, and health: An inquiry into hardiness.” (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 37(1), pp. 1-11). The concept of hardiness provides a valuable model for understanding resilient stress response patterns in individuals and groups. Often regarded as a personality trait or set of traits,  psychological hardiness is better understood as a generalized style of functioning that includes cognitive, emotional and behavioral qualities.

What’s really interesting is that the hardy style distinguishes people who stay healthy under stress from those who develop stress-related problems. For example, a number of studies have shown that soldiers who develop PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) symptoms following combat exposure are significantly lower in hardiness, when compared to those who don’t get PTSD (Bartone, 1999).  Accumulated evidence now shows that hardiness is only part trait, and part state. Individuals do indeed show consistency in their hardiness levels over time and across situations; but hardiness attitudes and behaviors can also be influenced by various social and environmental factors.  Thus, hardiness is not just a fixed trait, but is amenable to change.

The hardy style includes a strong sense of Commitment, Control, and Challenge. Commitment is the tendency to see the world as interesting and meaningful. Control is the belief in one’s own ability to control or influence events. Challenge involves seeing change and new experiences as exciting opportunities to learn and develop. The hardy style person is also courageous in dealing with new experiences as well as disappointments, and tends to be highly competent.The high hardy person is not impervious to stress, but is strongly resilient in responding to a range of stressful conditions. Recent studies have shown that persons high in hardiness not only remain healthy, but also perform better under stress.