The Heritability of Psychological Resiliency

Jason D. Boardman, University of Colorado at Boulder
Casey Blalock, University of Colorado at Boulder

This paper examines the role of unobserved genetic factors as important determinants of psychological well-being among a national sample of U.S. adults. Using sibling and twin-pair data from the National Survey of Mid-Life Development in the U.S. (MIDUS), this paper will examine the relative contribution of heritability to overall variance in psychological resiliency. Psychological resiliency is assessed as a function of adults’ levels of psychological distress after considering life-time exposure to acute and chronic stressors. Several studies have found resiliency to be a heritable trait but no studies have used data from a national sample and none have examined the moderating role of the social environment in this process. The goal of this paper is to address these shortcomings. Results from these analyses are not yet available.

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Presented in Poster Session 5