Overcoming Childhood Misfortune: Children Who Beat the Odds

Overcoming Childhood Misfortune: Children Who Beat the Odds

Overcoming Childhood Misfortune: Children Who Beat the Odds

Overcoming Childhood Misfortune: Children Who Beat the Odds

Synopsis

Traditionally, psychology has concentrated on factors that contribute to individuals becoming unhealthy and has paid very little attention to those individuals who become healthy when all indications would predict the opposite. Many children overcome adverse conditions and become successful adults. Their stories often go untold, taking backseat to stories and investigations of failed lives and broken dreams. This book retrospectively explores the lives of several individuals who were able to overcome hardships and excel professionally. The authors believe that, through the lives of these individuals, the reader can learn how to help others overcome adverse life circumstances.

Excerpt

Nothing intrigues us more than a success story: whether it's rags to riches, physical survival against overwhelmingly destructive forces, or the victory of faith in defiance of reason--we love to revel in the triumph of the human spirit. We find it particularly inspiring to hear of individuals who experience devastating, potentially debilitating, emotional trauma in childhood, yet triumph to become extraordinary, productive adults.

As a psychologist, I am often asked to explain unusual human behavior, and by definition those who succeed despite tremendous odds against success indeed exhibit unusual, meritorious behavior. As lead author, self-proclaimed "kindred spirit," and one who has "succeeded despite the odds," I must admit that my interest in understanding how individuals turn the negative into positive was first stimulated by my own self-study. in fact, I entered the field of psychology some twenty years ago for the very purpose of explaining why and how such turnarounds occur. Unfortunately, psychology has only recently begun to systematically study the unusually good outcome. Hence, my search for the "answers" still awaits the support of scientific fact. This volume lives as evidence of a continued search for those "answers."

By and large, psychology has concentrated on factors that . . .

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