Date Thesis Awarded

4-2019

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)

Department

Psychology

Advisor

Dr. Christopher Conway

Committee Members

Dr. Meghan Sinton

Dr. Harvey Langholtz

Dr. Silvia Tandeciarz

Abstract

Personality plays a major role in resilience to anxiety and depression. This study explored how runners’ personalities differ from non-runners, and whether specific personality traits—conscientiousness, grit, and mindfulness—protect against emotional problems. In the present study, participants (N = 222) completed self-report questionnaires to measure depression, anxiety, and stress, all Big 5 personality traits, grit, mindfulness, and resilience. Participants were also asked if they run as a form of exercise; if yes, they were presented with subsequent questions discerning internal and external motivations for running. There were weak associations, including some in unexpected directions, between runner status and personality. Conscientiousness, grit, and mindfulness strongly predicted resilience. Resilience was, in turn, related with significantly lower depression and anxiety. These findings suggest that, although running has little effect on personality, personality is a key component of resilience to mental health problems.

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