Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Chwalisz, Kathleen

Second Advisor

Greer, Tawanda


In this study, I investigated the relationship between positive self-talk, autonomy, and resilience in a sample of adults residing in America (n=177). Forty percent of American adults (n=1031) report daily stressors (Almeida, Wethington, & Kessler, 2002). Even comparatively minor life stressors can have a negative impact on one’s well-being over time (Almeida, 2005). Resilience, the ability to manage and recover from stress, may be an important factor in long-term health and well-being (Almeida, 2005). Positive self-talk has been identified as a possible target for resilience building interventions. However, positive self-talk appears to benefit some people more than others. One possible factor in the differential impact of positive self-talk may be autonomous functioning. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate whether one’s level of autonomy would influence how they use and interpret their self-talk and how that impacts their resilience, as such autonomous functioning was examined as a possible moderator in the relationship between self-talk and resilience. A sample of American adults were recruited through Amazon’s MTurk system and asked to complete an online survey. The survey included measures designed to assess for self-talk type and frequency, daily hassles stress, level of autonomy, and level of resilience. Results indicated that positive self-talk was not a predictor of high levels of resilience. Nor was autonomous functioning found to moderate the relationship between self-talk and resilience. However, autonomous functioning was a significant predictor of resilience. Implications for research and practice are discussed.




This thesis is Open Access and may be downloaded by anyone.