The Association Between Grit and Mental Health Symptoms in Adults
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Many researchers have investigated grit and its relation to educational outcomes, retention in the military, and positive psychology factors, yet there is little research examining grit and its relation to mental health symptoms. This study examined the relations among grit, conscientiousness, resilience, self-control, and mental health symptoms including depression, anxiety, and substance use. In addition, relations between grit and retention in committed relationships including psychotherapy, marriage, and jobs were explored. Among 150 adults who completed online self-report questionnaires, grit was significantly related to conscientiousness, resilience, and self-control. Grit was also significantly related to symptoms of depression and anxiety, but not to substance use. However, the association between grit and depression was accounted for by both conscientiousness and self-control, while the association between grit and anxiety was accounted for only by self-control. Grit was not significantly related to retention in marriage, the workplace, or psychotherapy. Limitations of the study were discussed, including the need for a larger sample size and critiques of the construct of grit. Directions for future research were also offered, including further investigation into how to foster grit in adults.