Resilience refers to the process of adaptive recovery following adversity or trauma. It is likely to include an intertwined series of dynamic interactions between neural, developmental, environmental, genetic, and epigenetic factors over time. Neuroscientific research suggests the potential role of the brain’s threat and reward systems, as well as executive control networks. Developmental research provides insight into how the environment may affect these neural systems across the lifespan towards greater risk or resilience to stress. Genetic work has revealed numerous targets that alter key neurochemical systems in the brain to influence mental health. Current challenges include ambiguities in the definition and measurement of resilience and a simplified focus on resilience as the absence of psychopathology, irrespective of levels of positive mental functioning. Greater emphasis on understanding the protective aspects of resilience and related well-being outcomes are important to delineate the unique neurobiological factors that underpin this process, so that effective interventions can be developed to assist vulnerable populations and resilience promotion.
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