Aim. Although both have shown significant effects upon depression in clinical samples, no direct comparison has been reported of the relative power of psychological resilience and the short form of the serotonin transporter gene 5-HTTLPR as predictors of depression in a community sample. material and methods. In a sample set by a priori power analysis, 67 adult females and 59 adult males were used to enable a comparison between a single genetic factor, childhood stressors, recent stressors, psychological resilience and depression. Results. None of genotype, childhood or recent stressors was significantly associated with depression scores, but resilience was a significant inverse predictor of depression scores and also of the presence of clinically significant depression. discussion. These data suggest that measures of an individual's ability to resist or recover from stress may be useful in assessing vulnerability to depression when used with 'at risk' individuals in everyday practice.