Published Papers - Abstract 147

Smith N, Young A & Lee C. Optimism, health-related hardiness and well-being among older Australian women. Journal of Health Psychology, 2004; 9(6): 741-752

This article examines whether optimism and health-related hardiness contribute to health and well-being among older women. Positive psychological characteristics, including optimism and health-related hardiness, are correlated with good self-rated health, but these variables are all affected by socioeconomic status, social support, physical illness and access to services. Using data from 9501 Australian women aged 73 to 78, we show that optimism and health-related hardiness explain a significant proportion of variance in all subscales of the SF-36, and in stress, even after these confounders are taken into account. The data, although cross-sectional, suggest that positive personal characteristics may contribute to well-being.