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Mainzer Resilience Project (MARP)

Resilience is the maintenance or quick recovery of mental health during and after severely stressful life situations. Traditionally, psychiatric research has focused on mechanisms that make people vulnerable and lead to disease and on ways of treating mental illness. Interestingly, however, many people do not or only temporarily become mentally ill despite significant burden from psychological or physical adversity. This suggests the existence of protective mechanisms that can prevent the development of stress-related conditions like anxiety, post-traumatic stress, depression or addiction. Our approach is to understand these resilience mechanisms and to harness them in the service of better disease prevention. This strategy can potentially much reduce individual suffering, dysfunction and economic and social costs.

The Mainz Resilience Project (MARP) is conducted by the Leibniz Institute for Resilience Research Mainz (LIR), with support from the LIR platform Clinical Investigation Center (CIC) and the platforms Neuroimaging Center (NIC) and Biobank at University Medical Center Mainz as well as from further cooperation partners at Mainz University and University Medical Center

MARP examines a cohort of healthy young volunteers in Mainz and surroundings who are in the critical transition phase between adolescence/school life and adulthood/professional life. This phase of life is associated with the frequent onset of new, or the exacerbation of existing, stress-related mental dysfunctions. We accompany our participants over several years and regularly assess their mental health status and the life stressors they encounter. We repeatedly characterize them with respect to brain structure and function, behavior, stress reactivity, physiology, molecular biology, personality, social and environmental factors etc. Ultimately, we hope to thereby identify mechanisms that protect individuals against developing lasting mental problems under stress.

MARP is supported by the foundation Ministry of Science of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate and the LIR.


Kalisch R et al (2020) A generic solution for the operationalization and measurement of resilience and resilience processes in longitudinal observations: rationale and basic design of the MARP and LORA studies. PsyArXiv preprint (psyarxiv.com/jg238/)

Kampa M, Schick A, Sebastian A, Wessa M, Tüscher O, Kalisch R, Yuen K (2020). Replication of fMRI group activations in the neuroimaging battery for the Mainz Resilience Project (MARP). Neuroimage 204:116223. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.116223.

>> Link to Pubmed

Kampa M, Schick A, Yuen K, Sebastian A, Chmitorz A, Saase V, Wessa M, Tüscher O, Kalisch R (2018). A Combined Behavioral and Neuroimaging Battery to Test Positive Appraisal Style Theory of Resilience in Longitudinal Studies. bioRxiv 470435


Project Head:

Prof. Dr. Raffael Kalisch

E-Mail: raffael.kalisch@lir-mainz.de

Administrative Contact:

MARP-Study Team (Email: marp@lir-mainz.de)