"I'll Die with the Hammer in My Hand": John Henryism as a Predictor of Happiness

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Happiness; Forecasting


Biostatistics | Epidemiology | Health Services Research | Psychology


This paper examines the association between John Henryism - a behavioral predisposition to cope actively with psychosocial environmental stressors - and happiness. On the basis of previous research on aspiration and goal regulation, we predicted that John Henryism would be negatively associated with happiness when controlling for demographic factors and attainment in various domains of life. We tested the prediction in a sample of hypertensive participants (n=758) drawn from an inner-city, mainly African-American, safety-net hospital in Jefferson County, Alabama. Bivariate analysis revealed no association between John Henryism and attainment in six domains of life: marriage, children, education, employment, income, and health. However, a significant negative association between John Henryism and happiness was found both in bivariate analysis (Spearman's rho= -0.335; p

DOI of Published Version



J Econ Psychol. 2011 Jun;32(3):357-366. DOI 10.1016/j.joep.2011.01.002

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal Of Economic Psychology

PubMed ID


Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed