Perseverance of Effort Moderates the Relationship between Psychological Distress and Life Satisfaction

Micah Jiel Boerma, James Neill, P. M. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Grit is a positive psychological trait that is theorised to consist of passion and perseverance towards long-term goals. Early grit research examined its relationship with academic achievement. However, grit may be beneficial in other life domains such as mental health and life satisfaction. The grit facet of perseverance of effort has been found to be related to mental health, however the nature of this relationship remains unclear.

Aims: The aim of this study was to examine the association between perseverance of effort, mental health, and life satisfaction. Methods: Adult participants (N = 153) from community and university samples completed an online survey that measured perseverance of effort, life satisfaction, psychological wellbeing, and psychological distress.

Results: Results showed that perseverance of effort significantly moderated the relationship between psychological distress and life satisfaction. Follow-up analyses revealed that, when perseverance was low, there was a significant negative relationship between psychological distress and life satisfaction. However, when perseverance was average or above average, there was no significant relationship between distress and satisfaction.

Discussion: These findings suggest that perseverant effort appeared to buffer the effect of psychological distress on life satisfaction. Further, this study provides seminal findings on the moderating influence of perseverant effort on psychological distress and life satisfaction. Conclusions: Grit, in the form of perseverance, warrants further attention as a modifiable factor which can help to promote important life outcomes. Recommendations for future research are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number16
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Positive Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2020


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