[Who stays healthy? The problem of predicting resilience]

Nervenarzt. 2018 Jul;89(7):754-758. doi: 10.1007/s00115-018-0551-z.
[Article in German]


Background: Resilience is a complex construct commonly defined as a dynamic process of maintenance or rapid restoration of mental health during and following exposure to stress and trauma. Resilient individuals show no or only minimal disruption in their overall functioning following trauma. Predictors of individual resilience are currently unclear.

Objective: Are there significant and reliable predictors of resilience?

Material and methods: Analysis and summary of recent studies on psychosocial and neurobiological resilience predictors derived from longitudinal studies.

Results: Less than half of the studies on psychosocial and neurobiological predictors reviewed indexed predictors for resilience prior to exposure to the traumatic event. The results are heterogeneous and often not replicated across studies. Even significant predictors often explain only a relatively small or clinically insignificant amount of variance in resilience.

Conclusion: The results are not yet ready for direct implementation into practice and the development of appropriate prevention programs on the basis of significant predictors.

Keywords: Longitudinal studies; Predictors; Resilience; Stress; Trauma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Mental Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Resilience, Psychological*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology