Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Past research has related a variety of personality traits to environmental stressors, coping behavior, and health. In this thesis, the relation between various traits and the pathways through which they influence health were explored further. It was hypothesized that personality predicts susceptibility to stressors and mechanisms of coping that modify the cognitive and affective reactions that influence health.;Two hundred and forty-seven psychology students completed self-report questionnaires. Ego resilience, internal locus of control, hardiness, extraversion, and low neuroticism were found to load on a factor moderately related to health. Also loading on the factor were objective stressors, coping strategies, perceived stress, and negative affect. A path analysis revealed that individuals with a stable personality (i.e., emotionally calm, flexible, self-reliant, and hardy) reported perceiving fewer threats in their environments and reported better health than those who were low in the traits comprising the stable personality. The path analysis also showed that a stable personality leads to health through effective coping and through low levels of negative affect. Alternative causal models of the relations between personality, the environment, affect, and health were briefly discussed, as were physiological mechanisms linking coping and health.