Psychobiological mechanisms of resilience: relevance to prevention and treatment of stress-related psychopathology

Dev Psychopathol. Summer 2007;19(3):889-920. doi: 10.1017/S0954579407000430.


Resilience refers to the ability to successfully adapt to stressors, maintaining psychological well-being in the face of adversity. Recent years have seen a great deal of research into the neurobiological and psychological factors and mechanisms that characterize resilient individuals. This article draws from that research to outline some of the most important contributors to resilience. The authors hope that by contributing to a growing understanding of the genetic, developmental, neurobiological, and psychological underpinnings of resilience, researchers and clinicians in the field will move closer toward the goal of identifying and treating individuals at risk for developing posttraumatic psychopathology.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Child
  • Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone / metabolism*
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone / metabolism*
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / metabolism*
  • Hypothalamus / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Serotonin / metabolism
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / prevention & control*
  • Stress, Psychological / metabolism*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Testosterone / metabolism


  • Serotonin
  • Testosterone
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone
  • Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Dopamine
  • Hydrocortisone