Study Says Mental Toughness is Mostly Inherited

by Rajashri on Oct 31 2008 4:39 PM

A person's genetic makeup governs his/her mental toughness, a Canadian study of 219 pairs of twins has revealed.

Lead researcher Tony Vernon, from the University of Western Ontario, has revealed that the questionnaire-based study probed the genetic and environmental contributions of four traits associated with mental toughness: control over life, commitment, confidence and the ability to face new challenges.

The researcher said that the study showed that 52 per cent in the variation of mental toughness was down to genetics, and that it also correlated strongly with extroversion.

Vernon said that being neurotic or anxious indicated a reduced likelihood of possessing mental toughness.

"It's about not letting setbacks destroy you," New Scientist magazine quoted Peter Clough at the University of Hull, UK, who designed the questionnaire, as saying.

He accepted the suggestion that mental toughness is mostly inherited.

Clough, however, insisted that natural worriers could deal with anxiety by learning to purge negative thoughts.