Psychopathy, anxiety, and resiliency – Psychological hardiness as a mediator of the psychopathy–anxiety relationship in a prison setting
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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The literature on the association between psychopathy and anxiety is somewhat mixed, but it has been proposed that one possible advantage of psychopathy might be resiliency against anxiety. Another construct related to resiliency is psychological hardiness, and several studies have identified associations between psychological hardiness, anxiety responses, and physical and mental health effects of stress. The aim of the current study is to examine whether characteristics of psychological hardiness mediate the relationship between traits of psychopathy and experienced anxiety in a prison setting. The results showed a divergence in the psychopathy construct, since two underlying factors (the two-factor model of the PCL-R) had divergent relationships with anxiety. Through mediation analyses (PROCESS), we found this relationship to be partly mediated by the commitment dimension of psychological hardiness. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to explore the possible mediating effect of psychological hardiness on the relationship between psychopathy and anxiety. The relative immunity to anxiety previously linked to psychopathy could thus be partly explained by higher levels of hardiness commitment.