Exploring the utility of current polygenic scores in capturing resilience

Brianna A. Bucknor, Jaime Derringer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although resilience has been identified to be moderately heritable, little is known about the genetic variants involved. While there has not yet been a robust genomewide association study (GWAS) of resilience, existing GWAS of related phenotypes may provide a starting point for developing our understanding of the heritability of resilience. In a sample of older, US adults (N = 9480), we examined the extent to which proxy polygenic scores (PGS) explained the variance in resilience. Four of the 32 PGS assessed (subjective wellbeing, neuroticism, depressive symptoms and educational attainment) reached significance among participants with European ancestries, but with relatively small effects (β= 0.002- 0.09). Notably, PGSs derived from GWAS of PTSD among participants with either European or African ancestries were uncorrelated with resilience. Even aggregated across all available proxy PGSs, existing PGSs are not sufficient to inform our understanding of the genetics underlying the heritability of resilience. A large-scale GWAS of resilience is needed as it would provide greater insight into the genetic mechanisms underlying the heritability of resilience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-24
Number of pages10
JournalPsychiatric Genetics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022


  • Behavioral genetics
  • Depression
  • Multifactorial inheritance
  • Neuroticism
  • Psychological resilience
  • Stress disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Genetics
  • Biological Psychiatry


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