Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Everett L. Worthington, Jr.

Second Advisor

Bruce Rybarczyk

Third Advisor

Jeffrey Green

Fourth Advisor

Richard Bargdill

Fifth Advisor

Robert Andrews


Patience is among the most common colloquially known virtues, and yet its empirical attention is among the smallest of all virtues. In this dissertation, I focused on the conscientiousness-based virtue of patience in terms of theory and intervention. In my first study, I examined the effects of a preliminary intervention workbook designed to promote patience. In my second study, I examined a number of correlates informed by patience literature as potential antecedents, mechanisms, and outcomes of patience and, using structural equation modeling, present a theory of patience. Finally, in my third study, I beta tested the patience intervention workbook along with outcome measures posited in my proposed theory of patience in order to examine this theory under experimental and longitudinal design. In Study 1, the patience workbook did indeed produce higher patience outcomes at post-test relative to the control condition but was not significantly different from a positivity workbook condition. Participants in the patience workbook condition also improved in trait self-control, trait forgivingness, and trait negativity. In Study 2, familiarity with an identified stressor and perceived stress related to that stressor predicted state patience for that stressor, consistent with an ego-depletion model of patience. Additionally, patience predicted mental (resilience, anxiety, satisfaction with life, depression, positive affect, and negative affect), physical, relational (communicative competence and perceived social support), and spiritual (spiritual attitudes and involvement) health outcomes. Study 3 replicated the support for an ego-depletion model of patience, and those in the patience intervention workbook improved in trait and state patience, anxiety, and depression, extending and partially supporting the outcomes found in Study 2. The present studies support the use of a workbook intervention to promote patience and additional virtue and mental health outcomes. Implications of these results and future research directions are discussed.


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