Processing Speed as a Predictor of Psychological Resilience: Preliminary Results from the PRONIA Study

Poster B29, Tuesday, October 9, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Essex Ballroom

Alexandra Stainton1, Katharine Chisholm1, Rachel Upthegrove1, Stephen J. Wood1,2,3, PRONIA Consortium4; 1Institute for Mental Health, School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, 2Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, Melbourne, Australia, 3Centre for Youth Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Australia, 4EU Consortium

The study of resilience has attempted to identify factors which make an individual more likely to have better long-term outcomes despite risk for mental illness. Previous research has identified psychological factors which may be associated with resilience. Moving forwards, it is essential that researchers investigate multimodal protective factors which could be incorporated into new interventions. This study investigated the relationship between neurocognition and psychological resilience using data from the PRONIA study. 684 participants aged 15-40 (mean 24.62) completed a comprehensive neurocognitive test battery and the Resilience Scale for Adults (RSA). The sample included individuals with first-episode Psychosis (N=144), first-episode depression (N=141), ultra-high risk for psychosis (N=134), and healthy controls (N=265). Multiple regression analysed the prediction of RSA total score using the neurocognitive test scores. The final model significantly predicted RSA total score, explaining 4.1% of the variance in these scores, F(1,518)=23.19, p<0.001. Performance on the Digit-Symbol Substitution Test, a measure of processing speed, significantly predicted RSA total (β=5.6, p<.001). In this study processing speed had a small, but significant relationship with psychological resilience. Resilience is a dynamic process, by which individuals utilise assets and resources to their benefit. Processing speed may support mechanisms such as social skills and reasoning which allow an individual to function well despite adversity or risk. The results should be interpreted in the context of the study’s limitations, including the cross-sectional design and reliance on self-report measures of resilience. Future research should examine resilience longitudinally, identifying further multimodal protective factors involved in this process.

Topic Area: Neurocognition

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