Psychometric and neurobiological assessment of reslience in a non-clinical sample of adults

Natalia Petros, Jolanta Opacka-Juffry, Jorg Huber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Resilient individuals are capable of adjusting and coping successfully in the face of adversity. Efforts to assess resilience and its biomarkers have focused on individuals with a history of trauma and related disorders. OBJECTIVE: To psychologically assess resilience in a non-clinical community population through questionnaires, and analyse the associations between the psychological parameters and salivary cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEA-S) as putative biomarkers of resilience. An opportunistic sample (n=196) completed a cross-sectional survey assessing resilience, self-reported depressive symptoms and anxiety, and possible correlates. A sub-sample (n=32) selected in order to maximise variation of mental health, provided saliva samples for enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA) detection of cortisol and DHEA-S. RESULTS: Resilience correlated negatively with depressive symptoms, trait anxiety and early life stress, and positively with self-efficacy, optimism, social support and wellbeing (all r>0.40; all p-values ≤0.001 except for early life stress: r=-0.20; p≤0.05). Resilience and DHEA-S concentrations correlated significantly (r=0.35; p≤0.05); this relationship remained stable after adjustment for demographics. Gender differences were observed for DHEA-S and cortisol (p≤0.05). Resilience is associated with positive aspects of psychological health and salivary DHEA-S, suggesting the latter can be treated as a biomarker of resilience in a non-clinical sample of adults.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2099-2108
Number of pages10
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2013


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