Associations Between Grit, Sustainable Behavior, and Emotional Well-Being

  • Choi, Jihye (University of Eulji)
  • Received : 2019.08.04
  • Accepted : 2020.04.15
  • Published : 2020.05.31


This paper investigated the impact of grit on sustainable behavior and emotional well-being. A questionnaire about grit, sustainable behavior, and emotional well-being was administered to 273 undergraduate students in South Korea. To examine the association between the variables, this study used two spell out (SEM) comparison models. The results show that grit is positively related to sustainable behavior and emotional well-being. The effect of grit on emotional well-being was mediated by sustainable behavior. The effect of grit is higher on sustainable behavior than emotional well-being. In addition, sustainable behavior has a positive relationship to emotional well-being. The results show that the grit has an important implication for sustainable environment education and individual well-being.


  1. Browne, M. W., & Cudeck, R. (1993). Alternative ways of assessing model fit. Sage focus editions, 154, 136-136.
  2. Chin, W. W. (1998). Issues and opinion on structural equation modeling, MIS Quarterly, 22(1), 7-16.
  3. Choi, J. (2016). Sustainable behavior: Study engagement and happiness among university students in South Korea. Sustainability. 8(7), 599.
  4. Christensen, R., & Knezek, G. (2014). Comparative measures of grit, tenacity and perseverance. International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research, 8(1), 16-30.
  5. Corral-Verdugo, V., Mireles-Acosta, J. F., Tapia-Fonllem, C., & Fraijo-Sing, B. (2011). Happiness as correlate of sustainable behavior: A study of pro-ecological, frugal, equitable and altruistic actions that promote subjective wellbeing. Human Ecology Review, 18(2), 95-104.
  6. Costa Jr, P. T., & McCrae, R. R. (1992). Four ways five factors are basic. Personality and individual differences, 13(6), 653-665.
  7. Culin, K. R., Tsukayama, E., & Duckworth, A. L. (2014). Unpacking grit: Motivational correlates of perseverance and passion for long-term goals. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 9(4), 306-312.
  8. Datu, J. A. D., Valdez, J. P. M., & King, R. B. (2016). Perseverance counts but consistency does not! Validating the short grit scale in a collectivist setting. Current Psychology, 35(1), 121-130.
  9. Diener, E., Suh, E. M., Lucas, R. E., & Smith, H. L. (1999). Subjective well-being: Three decades of progress. Psychological bulletin, 125(2), 276.
  10. Duckworth, A. (2016). Grit: The power of passion and perseverance. Scribner.
  11. Duckworth, A. L., Peterson, C., Matthews, M. D., & Kelly, D. R. (2007). Grit: Perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(6), 1087.
  12. Duckworth, A. L., & Quinn, P. D. (2009). Development and validation of the Short Grit Scale (GRIT-S). Journal of Personality Assessment, 91(2), 166-174.
  13. Duckworth, A. L., Kirby, T. A., Tsukayama, E., Berstein, H., & Ericsson, K. A. (2011). Deliberate practice spells success: Why grittier competitors triumph at the National Spelling Bee. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2(2), 174-181.
  14. Ericsson, K. A., Krampe, R. T., & Tesch-Römer, C. (1993). The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance. Psychological Review, 100(3), 363.
  15. Eskreis-Winkler, L., Duckworth, A. L., Shulman, E. P., & Beal, S. (2014). The grit effect: Predicting retention in the military, the workplace, school and marriage. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 36.
  16. Fischer, J., Dyball, R., Fazey, I., Gross, C., Dovers, S., Ehrlich, P. R., Brulle, R. J., Christensen, C., & Borden, R. J. (2012). Human behavior and sustainability. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 10(3), 153-160.
  17. Fredrickson, B. L., & Joiner, T. (2002). Positive emotions trigger upward spirals toward emotional well-being. Psychological science, 13(2), 172-175.
  18. Hill, P. L., Burrow, A. L., & Bronk, K. C. (2016). Persevering with positivity and purpose: An examination of purpose commitment and positive affect as predictors of grit. Journal of Happiness Studies, 17(1), 257-269.
  19. Hu, L. T., & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural equation modeling: A multidisciplinary journal, 6(1), 1-55.
  20. Ivcevic, Z., & Brackett, M. (2014). Predicting school success: Comparing conscientiousness, grit, and emotion regulation ability. Journal of Research in Personality, 52, 29-36.
  21. Jin, B., & Kim, J. (2017). Grit, basic needs satisfaction, and subjective well-being. Journal of Individual Differences, 38, 29-35.
  22. Kahneman, D., & Deaton, A. (2010). High income improves evaluation of life but not emotional well-being. Proceedings of the national academy of sciences, 107(38), 16489-16493.
  23. Lee, H. Y., Tak, J. H., & Lee, M. R. (2017). Yebiyuagyosaui geulis gunjib-yuhyeong-e ttalun seong-gyeog5yoingwa jagihyoneung-gam-ui chai/The differences of pre-service early childhood teachers' big five personality factors and self-efficacy according to cluster types based on the grit. Korean Journal of Early Childhood Education, 37(3), 249-268.
  24. Liston, R. A., & Brouwer, B. J. (1996). Reliability and validity of measures obtained from stroke patients using the Balance Master. Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation, 77(5), 425-430.
  25. MacCann, C., & Roberts, R. D. (2010). Do time management, grit, and self-control relate to academic achievement independently of conscientiousness. In R. E. Hicks (Ed.), Personality and individual differences: Current directions (p.79-90). Australian Academic Press.
  26. Macnamara, B. N., Hambrick, D. Z., & Oswald, F. L. (2014). Deliberate practice and performance in music, games, sports, education, and professions: A metaanalysis. Psychological Science, 25(8), 1608-1618.
  27. Pintrich, P. R., & De Groot, E. V. (1990). Motivational and self-regulated learning components of classroom academic performance. Journal of Educational Psychology, 82(1), 33.
  28. Rimfeld, K., Kovas, Y., Dale, P. S., & Plomin, R. (2016). True grit and genetics: Predicting academic achievement from personality. Journal of personality and social psychology, 111(5), 780.
  29. Salanova, M., Schaufeli, W., Martinez, I., & Breso, E. (2010). How obstacles and facilitators predict academic performance: The mediating role of study burnout and engagement. Anxiety, stress & coping, 23(1), 53-70.
  30. Salles, A., Cohen, G. L., & Mueller, C. M. (2014). The relationship between grit and resident well-being. The American Journal of Surgery, 207(2), 251-254.
  31. Suzuki, Y., Tamesue, D., Asahi, K., & Ishikawa, Y. (2015). Grit and work engagement: A cross-sectional study. PloS One, 10(9), e0137501.
  32. Tapia-Fonllem, C., Corral-Verdugo, V., & Fraijo-Sing, B. (2017). Sustainable behavior and quality of life. In G. Fleury-Bahi, E. Pol, & O. Nvarro (Eds.), Handbook of environmental psychology and quality of life research (pp. 173-184). Springer, Cham.
  33. Thaler, L. & Koval, R. (2015). Grit to great. Crown Business.
  34. Tough, P. (2012). How children succeed: Grit, curiosity, and the hidden power of character. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  35. Valle, M. F., Huebner, E. S., & Suldo, S. M. (2006). An analysis of hope as a psychological strength. Journal of School Psychology, 44, 393-406.
  36. Von Culin, K. R., Tsukayama, E., & Duckworth, A. L. (2014). Unpacking grit: Motivational correlates of perseverance and passion for long-term goals. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 9(4), 306-312.
  37. Wolters, C. A., & Hussain, M. (2015). Investigating grit and its relations with college students' self-regulated learning and academic achievement. Metacognition and Learning, 10(3), 293-311.
  38. Yun, Y., & Choi, J. (2018). A child’s family relationship and emotional well-being through self-regulated learning in South Korea. Canadian Journal of Family and Youth/Le Journal Canadien de Famille et de la Jeunesse, 10(1), 1-23.
  39. Zhao, C. M., & Kuh, G. D. (2004). Adding value: Learning communities and student engagement. Research in higher education, 45(2), 115-138.