Background. The COVID-19 outbreak and the measures taken to curb it have changed people’s lives and affected their psychological well-being. Many studies have shown that hardiness has reduced the adverse effects of stressors, but this has not been researched in the Russian COVID-19 situation yet.
Objective. To assess the role of hardiness and meaningfulness as resources to cope with stress and minimize its effects on psychological well-being.
Design. The study was conducted March 24–May 15, 2020 on a sample of 949 people (76.7% women), aged 18–66 years (M = 30.55, Me = 27, SD = 11.03). The data was divided into four time-periods, cut off by the dates of significant decisions by the Russian authorities concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. The questionnaires were: Beck Anxiety and Depression Inventories, Symptom Check-list-90-R, Noetic Orientations Test, and Personal Views Survey-III.
Results. Welch’s ANOVA showed significant differences between the time-periods in meaningfulness, hardiness, anxiety, depression, and the General Symptomatic Index (GSI) (W = 4.899, p< 0.01; W = 3.173,p < 0.05; W = 8.096,p < 0.01; W = 3.244,p < 0.022; and W = 4.899,p < 0.01, respectively). General linear models for anxiety, depression, and GSI showed that biological sex, chronic diseases, self-assessed fears, and hardiness contributed to all of them. In all three models, hardiness had the most significant impact. Anxiety was also influenced by the time factor, both in itself and in its interaction with hardiness levels. With less hardiness, more anxiety occurred over time.
Conclusion. Hardiness was shown to be a personal adaptive resource in stressful situations related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Keywords: hardiness, meaningfulness, anxiety, depression, pandemic, COVID-19