Disclosures: Drs Wingo and Bradley have no relevant potential conflicts of interest. Dr. Ressler has received funding support related to other studies from Lundbeck, NARSAD, Burroughs Wellcome Foundation, NIMH, NIDA, and is a founder of Extinction Pharmaceuticals for NMDA-based therapeutics.
Psychological resilience and neurocognitive performance in a traumatized community sample†
Article first published online: 23 FEB 2010
© 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Depression and Anxiety
Volume 27, Issue 8, pages 768–774, August 2010
How to Cite
Wingo, A. P., Fani, N., Bradley, B. and Ressler, K. J. (2010), Psychological resilience and neurocognitive performance in a traumatized community sample. Depress. Anxiety, 27: 768–774. doi: 10.1002/da.20675
- Issue published online: 30 JUL 2010
- Article first published online: 23 FEB 2010
- Manuscript Revised: 13 JAN 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 13 JAN 2010
- Manuscript Received: 23 NOV 2009
- American Psychiatric Institute for Research & Education
- NIH. Grant Number: UL RR025008
- National Institutes of Mental Health. Grant Number: MH071537
- Emory and Grady Memorial Hospital General Clinical Research Center
- NIH National Centers for Research Resources. Grant Number: M01RR00039
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
- Burroughs Wellcome Fund
- neurocognitive performance;
- childhood abuse;
- nonverbal memory
Background: Whether psychological resilience correlates with neurocognitive performance is largely unknown. Therefore, we assessed association between neurocognitive performance and resilience in individuals with a history of childhood abuse or trauma exposure. Methods: In this cross-sectional study of 226 highly traumatized civilians, we assessed neurocognitive performance, history of childhood abuse and other trauma exposure, and current depressive and PTSD symptoms. Resilience was defined as having ≥1 trauma and no current depressive or PTSD symptoms; non-resilience as having ≥1 trauma and current moderate/severe depressive or PTSD symptoms. Results: The non-resilient group had a higher percentage of unemployment (P=.006) and previous suicide attempts (P<.0001) than the resilient group. Both groups had comparable education and performance on verbal reasoning, nonverbal reasoning, and verbal memory. However, the resilient group performed better on nonverbal memory (P=.016) with an effect size of .35. Additionally, more severe childhood abuse or other trauma exposure was significantly associated with non-resilience. Better nonverbal memory was significantly associated with resilience even after adjusting for severity of childhood abuse, other trauma exposure, sex, and race using multiple logistic regression (adjusted OR=1.2; P=.017). Conclusions: We examined resilience as absence of psychopathology despite trauma exposure in a highly traumatized, low socioeconomic, urban population. Resilience was significantly associated with better nonverbal memory, a measure of ability to code, store, and visually recognize concrete and abstract pictorial stimuli. Nonverbal memory may be a proxy for emotional learning, which is often dysregulated in stress-related psychopathology, and may contribute to our understanding of resilience. Depression and Anxiety, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.