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Associations between Brief Resilience Scale scores and ageing-related domains in the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-344
JournalPsychology and Aging
Issue number3
Early online date4 Nov 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Nov 2019


It is unclear how scores on self-report resilience scales relate to key ageing-related domains in older age, and if they truly measure resilience. We examined antecedents and outcomes of age-76 Brief Resilience Scale scores in participants of the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 (n = 655). We found bivariate associations between age-76 BRS scores and ageing-relevant antecedent variables measured at least 3 years earlier, from domains of cognitive ability, physical fitness, and wellbeing, and, additionally, sociodemographics and personality (absolute r’s from .082 to .49). Biological health variables were associated with BRS scores. Age-73 cognitive ability (largest β = 0.14), physical fitness (largest β = 0.084), and wellbeing variables (largest β = 0.26) made positive independent contributions to age-76 BRS scores in multivariate models. In a conservative model including all variables as covariates, corrected for multiple comparisons, only emotional stability (neuroticism) significantly independently contributed to BRS score (β = 0.33). An exploratory backwards elimination model indicated more wellbeing and personality associates of BRS scores (βs from .087 to .32). We used latent difference score modelling to assess outcomes of BRS scores; we examined associations between age-76 BRS and change in latent factors of age-related domains between age 76 and 79. Whereas BRS scores were related cross-sectionally to levels of latent cognitive ability (r = .19), physical fitness (r = .20), and wellbeing (r = .60) factors, they were not related to declines in these domains. The independence of the BRS construct from established wellbeing and personality factors is unclear.

    Research areas

  • brief resilience scale, cognitive ability, ageing, personality, wellbeing

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