Resilience to early family risk moderates stress-affect associations: A 14-day ecological momentary assessment study

Natasha Yan Chi Tung, Yang Yap, Bei Bei, Linda J. Luecken, Joshua F. Wiley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Resilience in children with early family life adversity is linked with successful adulthood psychological outcomes. However, whether resilience influences daily emotional responses to stress remains unclear. This study examined whether resilience capacity in the context of early family risks predicts better daily stress and affect outcomes during a stressful transition. Methods: International and interstate undergraduates (N = 98; aged 18–25 years) were grouped as Resilient (high family risk, high resilience), Vulnerable (high family risk, low resilience), or Control (low family risk, average anxiety and depression). Daily negative (NA) and positive affect (PA), perceived stress, and stressors were assessed 4-times daily across 14 consecutive days (4333 total surveys; 73.7% completion rate). Affect reactivity was operationalized as the NA and PA slopes on perceived stress from each survey. Results: The Resilient group did not differ from the Control group on all outcomes. The Vulnerable group reported significantly higher number of stressors, perceived stress levels, NA, and NA reactivity than the Resilient and Control groups (all p <.001); as well as significantly lower PA (p =.024) and PA reactivity (p =.003) than the Control group. Limitations: Our findings are not generalizable to other populations and cannot determine causality. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that resilience capacity is protective against the effects of early family risks on a daily basis. However, significant findings were limited to emotional distress outcomes and not supported for PA, suggesting resilience capacity may attenuate emotional distress but not positive emotions in response to stress in emerging adults with family risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-142
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2022


  • Affect
  • Daily
  • EMA
  • Family
  • Resilience
  • Stress

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