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Early-life predictors of resilience and related outcomes up to 66 years later in the 6-day sample of the 1947 Scottish mental survey.

Harris, MA, Brett, CE, Starr, JM, Deary, IJ and McIntosh, AM (2016) Early-life predictors of resilience and related outcomes up to 66 years later in the 6-day sample of the 1947 Scottish mental survey. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 51 (5). pp. 659-668. ISSN 0933-7954

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PURPOSE: Psychological resilience, the ability to manage and quickly recover from stress and trauma, is associated with a range of health and wellbeing outcomes. Resilience is known to relate to personality, self-esteem and positive affect, and may also depend upon childhood experience and stress. In this study, we investigated the role of early-life contributors to resilience and related factors in later life. METHODS: We used data from the 6-day sample of the Scottish mental survey 1947, an initially representative sample of Scottish children born in 1936. They were assessed on a range of factors between the ages of 11 and 27 years, and resilience and other outcomes at 77 years. RESULTS: Higher adolescent dependability unexpectedly predicted lower resilience in older-age, as did childhood illnesses, while a count of specific stressors experienced throughout early life significantly predicted higher later-life resilience. We also observed significant cross-sectional correlations between resilience and measures of physical health, mental health, wellbeing and loneliness. Some of the associations between early-life predictors and later-life outcomes were significantly mediated by resilience. CONCLUSIONS: Our results support the hypothesis that stress throughout early life may help to build resilience in later-life, and demonstrate the importance of resilience as a mediator of other influences on health and wellbeing in older age. We suggest that the mechanisms determining how early-life stress leads to higher resilience are worthy of further investigation, and that psychological resilience should be a focus of research and a target for therapeutic interventions aiming to improve older-age health and wellbeing.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1103 Clinical Sciences, 1702 Cognitive Science, 1701 Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Natural Sciences & Psychology (closed 31 Aug 19)
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2016 09:46
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 12:34
DOI or ID number: 10.1007/s00127-016-1189-4
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/4069
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