Optimism, personality, and coping styles may alter the effects of stressful events through appraisal and stress reduction. The 1999 Kosovo crisis offered an opportunity to test this proposition under real-life, traumatic stress conditions. Dispositional optimism, personality, and coping contributions were predicted based on geographical distance and degree of reported stress for 3 groups: Kosovar refugees, Albanian citizens helping the refugees in Albania, and Albanian immigrants living in the United States. Results showed Kosovars significantly higher on all stress measures, and on maladjustment. Reduced optimism and reduced control coping were related to higher levels of maladjustment. Pessimism and escape coping showed no relation to psychological adjustment. Resilience was related to a combination of higher optimism, extraversion, openness to experience, conscientiousness, and control coping, paired with lower neuroticism.