Research Article| Volume 20, ISSUE 3, P144-150, June 2006

Relationships Among Trait, Situational, and Comparative Optimism: Clarifying Concepts for a Theoretically Consistent and Evidence-Based Intervention to Maximize Resilience

      Research evidence identifies trait optimism as the strongest individual predictor of adolescent resilience when framed within Lazarus's theory of stress and coping. As a precursor to the development of an intervention to maximize resilience, this study clarifies the concept of optimism. Relationships among trait, situational, and comparative optimism were explored. The sample (N = 132) consisted of rural adolescents between 14 and 18 years old who were attending public school. The results demonstrate weak correlations, suggesting that adolescents' perceptions of situations may be amenable to an intervention to maximize resilience but that adolescents also do not expect to experience health or environmental problems. Implications for developing an intervention are discussed.
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