The dynamics of appraisal: a review of 20 years of research using the Fortitude Questionnaire
Pretorius, Tyrone B.
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Fortitude refers to the psychological strength to manage adversity and stay well. It is derived from adaptive cognitive appraisals of self, family, and social supports and has consistently been identified as a protective factor in psychological well-being. This study undertakes a scoping review of empirical research on the Fortitude Questionnaire, which was developed to assess levels of fortitude. The aims of the study were to categorize and catalogue studies that have used the Fortitude Questionnaire, identify the variables that have been linked to the scale, and determine the extent to which prior research has replicated the Fortitude Questionnaire’s psychometric properties. Arksey and O’Malley’s five-stage framework for scoping reviews was followed to review studies published between January 1999 and March 2020. A total of 51 studies met the inclusion criteria. The scoping review found that the Fortitude Questionnaire has been used in different contexts and among various sample groups across the lifespan, including vulnerable and high-risk populations. The scale has demonstrated sound reliability and studies have confirmed its factor structure. The scale has also been used as an independent, dependent, and intervening variable. Fortitude has been linked to positive and negative indicators of well-being, and intervention studies have indicated that fortitude is amenable to change. The findings of this scoping review provide a foundation for the development of appraisal restructuring programmes and interventions.