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D. A Hardy Way to Deal with Stressful Times

Narrator: This is Science Today. In the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks, many people have been dealing with a range of emotional and financial stress. Dr. Salvatore Maddi, a psychologist at the University of California, Irvine, says how a person deals with stress is not an inherent skill - it can be learned. In fact, Maddi trains patients to develop what he calls 'hardiness' skills.

Maddi: We think of it as a combination of attitudes and skills that help you cope with stressful circumstances, whether the stresses are big or small. The attitudes are what we came to call the three C's - commitment, control and challenge.

Narrator: There are also coping and social support skills. The hardiness program is based on a 30-minute survey Maddi developed and extensive research.

Maddi: The research has also concerned itself with evaluating the effects of our hardy training and it shows that the hardy training really works in the sense that it increases hardiness, but in addition, it improves performance, conduct, morale and health.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.