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

Natalie Petros, Jolanta Opacka-Juffry, Jorg Huber

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


Background 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. Method 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). Conclusion 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 pages9
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Psychometric and neurobiological assessment of resilience in a non-clinical sample of adults'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this