Moderating effects of resilience on depression in individuals with a history of childhood abuse or trauma exposure

J Affect Disord. 2010 Nov;126(3):411-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2010.04.009. Epub 2010 May 21.

Abstract

Background: Influences of resilience on the presence and severity of depression following trauma exposure are largely unknown. Hence, we examined effects of resilience on depressive symptom severity in individuals with past childhood abuse and/or other trauma exposure.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study of 792 adults, resilience was measured with the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, depression with the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), childhood abuse with the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, and other traumas with the Trauma Events Inventory.

Results: Multiple linear regression modeling with depression severity (BDI score) as the outcome yielded 4 factors: childhood abuse (β=2.5, p<0.0001), other trauma (β=3.5, p<0.0001), resilience (β=-0.5, p<0.0001), and other trauma × resilience interaction term (β=-0.1, p=0.0021), all of which were significantly associated with depression severity, even after adjusting for age, sex, race, education, employment, income, marital status, and family psychiatric history. Childhood abuse and trauma exposure contributed to depressive symptom severity while resilience mitigated it.

Conclusions: Resilience moderates depressive symptom severity in individuals exposed to childhood abuse or other traumas both as a main effect and an interaction with trauma exposure. Resilience may be amenable to external manipulation and could present a potential focus for treatments and interventions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Continental Ancestry Group / psychology*
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child Abuse / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / ethnology
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / ethnology
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data
  • Pregnancy
  • Resilience, Psychological*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Young Adult