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Resilience May Buffer Future Life Stressors

Depress Anxiety; ePub 2017 Nov 24; Sheerin, et al

Findings from a recent study support the conceptualization of resilience as a buffer against the impact of future life stressors on common internalizing psychopathology. Using longitudinal data from an epidemiological twin sample (n=7,463), this study tested whether resilience would act as a buffer for stressful life events (SLEs) against risk for major depressive disorder (MDD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Resilience, demographics, and psychopathology were measured at Time 1; recent SLEs and current MDD and GAD were measured at Time 2. Final models, controlling for demographic covariates and Time 1 diagnosis, examined the impact of Time 1 resilience, recent SLEs, their interaction, and a 3-way interaction adding sex on MDD and GAD. Researchers found:

  • The pattern of findings was the same for MDD and GAD, wherein main effects and 2-way interactions of resilience and SLEs were significant, such that greater resilience was protective even in the context of high numbers of past-year SLEs.
  • The 3-way interaction was not significant, suggesting that the relationship between SLEs and resilience on psychopathology was the same for both men and women.


Sheerin CM, Lind MJ, Brown EA, Gardner CO, Kendler KS, Amstadter AB. The impact of resilience and subsequent stressful life events on MDD and GAD. [Published online ahead of print November 24, 2017]. Depress Anxiety. doi:10.1002/da.22700.

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