The purpose of this investigation was to examine the role of dispositional optimism on levels of stress, resiliency and salivary immunoglobulin A (IgA) in employed mothers. The participants, comprised of 37 mothers (26 married and 11 single), were asked to render a timed saliva sample and complete a questionnaire package (demographic sheet, stress, resiliency and optimism inventories). Results indicated that mothers who were more optimistic tended to report less distress and greater resiliency. Furthermore, life event stress was positively related to self-reported levels of distress. Salivary IgA did not correlate significantly with the above psychological variables. These data provide additional support regarding the buffering effect of dispositional optimism on the stress experience and has practical implications for the cultivation of learned optimism in employed mothers. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.