The Association of Resilience with Mental Health in a Large Population-Based Sample (LIFE-Adult-Study)

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Nov 29;19(23):15944. doi: 10.3390/ijerph192315944.


Resilience describes a good adaptation to adversity. Strengthening resilience is a promising approach in the prevention of mental health problems. Yet, research on the association of resilience with mental health symptoms in the general population is scarce. The aim of our study is to examine comprehensively the association of resilience with depressive symptoms, anxiety, and perceived stress in a large population-based sample. We analyzed data of n = 3762 participants from the follow-up assessment of the LIFE-Adult-Study, a population-based cohort study in Leipzig. Assessments included resilience (RS-11), depressive symptoms (CES-D), anxiety (GAD-7), and perceived stress (PSQ). The association of resilience with mental health symptoms was examined via multiple linear regression analyses. In our analyses, higher resilience predicted less mental health problems and contributed significantly to the explained variance in mental health outcomes. Women, individuals with previous mental disorders, and those without employment had higher mental health symptoms. Resilience is closely associated with mental health problems in the general population. Vulnerable groups should be targeted with public health measures. Strengthening resilience is a promising approach in the large-scale prevention of mental disorders.

Keywords: anxiety symptoms; depressive symptoms; general population; perceived stress; prevention; resilience.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Depression / psychology
  • Employment / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mental Health*
  • Resilience, Psychological*

Grants and funding

The LIFE-Adult-Study is supported by LIFE—Leipzig Research Centre for Civilization Diseases, an organizational unit affiliated to the Medical Faculty of the University of Leipzig. LIFE is funded by means of the European Union, by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), by funds of the Free State of Saxony within the framework of the excellence initiative (project numbers 713–241202, 713–241202, 14505/2470, 14575/2470), by funds of the Medical Faculty of Leipzig University, and by funds of the participating institutions. We acknowledge support from the University of Leipzig for Open Access Publishing.