Current Psychiatry Reports

, 10:304 | Cite as

Social support and resilience to stress across the life span: A neurobiologic framework

  • Fatih Ozbay
  • Heidi Fitterling
  • Dennis Charney
  • Steven Southwick


This review discusses selected neurobiologic and genetic factors—including noradrenergic and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis markers, oxytocin pathways, and serotonin transporter and brain-derived neurotrophic factor gene polymorphisms—in the context of resilience to stress, with an emphasis on social support. Social support’s impact on medical and psychiatric health outcomes is reviewed, and putative mediators are discussed. The reviewed literature indicates that social support is exceptionally important to maintaining good physical and psychological health in the presence of genetic, developmental, and other environmental risks. Future studies should continue to explore the neurobiologic factors associated with social support’s contribution to stress resilience.


Social Support Oxytocin DHEA Active Coping Biol Psychiatry 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Current Medicine Group LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fatih Ozbay
    • 1
  • Heidi Fitterling
  • Dennis Charney
  • Steven Southwick
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryMount Sinai School of MedicineNew YorkUSA

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