Resilience Against Traumatic Stress: Current Developments and Future Directions

Clara Snijders, Lotta-Katrin Pries, Noemi Sgammeglia, Ghazi Al Jowf, Nagy A. Youssef, Laurence de Nijs, Sinan Guloksuz, Bart P. F. Rutten*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review


Given the high prevalence of stress-related mental disorders, their impact on person, family, and society and the paucity of treatment options for most of these disorders, there is currently a pressing need for innovative approaches to deal with these issues and enhance well-being. One approach which has received increasing attention over the last decade is to shift our scientific and clinical focus from risk factors for psychopathology to factors promoting resilience and mental well-being. In order to summarize and evaluate the current state of scientific affairs on the biological basis of resilience, we provide an overview of the literature on animal and human studies of resilience. Because resilience can only truly be operationalized through longitudinal data collection and analyses, we focus primarily on longitudinal studies. This review shows that the concept of resilience is currently being operationalized, measured and even defined in widely variable manners, both within animal and human studies. We further provide an overview of existing and new strategies that could help promote resilience and which are proposed to be implemented more often in clinical situations. Finally, we summarize the challenges the field is facing and provide recommendations for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number676
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2018


  • resilience
  • stress
  • prospective longitudinal studies
  • resilience-promoting interventions
  • review
  • LIFE
  • PTSD


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