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J Trauma Stress. 2007 Aug;20(4):435-47.

Differentiating biological correlates of risk, PTSD, and resilience following trauma exposure.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, and Department of Psychiatry, Bronx VAMC, Bronx, NY 10468, USA.


Risk and resilience factors presumably explain the individual differences in the response to adversity. However, little is known about how such factors are related. Risk and protective factors may reflect a quantitative difference along a single dimension (e.g., low IQ might be associated with risk and high IQ with resilience); however, they may also refer to orthogonal constructs that interact and/or moderate stress effects to increase or diminish the probability of developing trauma-related psychopathology (e.g., good coping could offset low IQ). The authors illustrate experimental strategies for distinguishing between these possibilities for any putative measure relating to symptom development, using a database that includes published and unpublished psychological and biological variables from a relatively homogenous cohort of exposed and nonexposed veterans.

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