The grit effect: predicting retention in the military, the workplace, school and marriage.

TitleThe grit effect: predicting retention in the military, the workplace, school and marriage.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsEskreis-Winkler, L, Shulman, EP, Beal, SA, Duckworth, AL
JournalFront Psychol
Date Published2014

Remaining committed to goals is necessary (albeit not sufficient) to attaining them, but very little is known about domain-general individual differences that contribute to sustained goal commitment. The current investigation examines the association between grit, defined as passion and perseverance for long-term goals, other individual difference variables, and retention in four different contexts: the military, workplace sales, high school, and marriage. Grit predicted retention over and beyond established context-specific predictors of retention (e.g., intelligence, physical aptitude, Big Five personality traits, job tenure) and demographic variables in each setting. Grittier soldiers were more likely to complete an Army Special Operations Forces (ARSOF) selection course, grittier sales employees were more likely to keep their jobs, grittier students were more likely to graduate from high school, and grittier men were more likely to stay married. The relative predictive validity of grit compared to other traditional predictors of retention is examined in each of the four studies. These findings suggest that in addition to domain-specific influences, there may be domain-general individual differences which influence commitment to diverse life goals over time.

Alternate JournalFront Psychol
PubMed ID24550863
PubMed Central IDPMC3910317