The personality construct of hardiness has been introduced as a moderator in the stress-illness relationship. Hardy individuals are thought to alter their appraisal of stress into a less stressful form. Mood disturbances have been found to be a product of intensive physical training. This investigation examines the relationships between hardiness and mood disturbances in swimmers who are overtraining and between hardiness, mood disturbances, and coping behaviors. Swimmers (N=253) from eight universities and seven competitive club programs completed the Cognitive Hardiness Inventory, the Profile of Mood States, the Everly Coping Scale, and the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale at the beginning of their competitive season, and at two 7-week intervals. Hardy swimmers experienced fewer mood disturbances during the season than nonhardy swimmers. Specifically, hardy swimmers had lower feelings of tension, depression, anger, fatigue, confusion, and higher feelings of vigor. Hardy swimmers also possessed more adaptive coping behaviors.
Judy D. Goss is with the Canadian Olympic Association, Olympic Athlete Career Centre, P.O. Box 73, Toronto Dominion Center, Toronto, ON Canada M5K 1E7.