Resilience and Vulnerability: Adaptation in the Context of Childhood Adversities

By Suniya S. Luthar | Go to book overview

Preface

This book contains an integrative review of major research findings on re- silient adaptation during childhood. As used here, the term resilience rep- resents the manifestation of positive adaptation despite significant life adversity. Resilience is not a child attribute that can be directly measured; rather, it is a process or phenomenon that is inferred from the dual coexisting conditions of high adversity and relatively positive adaptation in spite of this.

The impetus for this volume stemmed from the widespread and grow- ing appeal of the construct of resilience for scientific researchers, prac- titioners, and lay people, along with continuing uncertainty about the substantive lessons that derive from research on this construct. Although many believe that research on risk and resilience can yield substantial gains, there have not been concerted efforts to distill salient take-home messages emanating from diverse research programs. It is in an effort at such knowledge integration that this book was compiled. Included here are contributions from several leading scientists, all of whom have stud- ied childhood adaptation across some type of life adversity. The authors are not necessarily proponents of the construct of resilience; the central purpose of this book is to integrate findings on children's adjustment in the face of risk rather than to advocate for resilience as a superlative or flawless scientific construct.


CONTENTS AND ORGANIZATION

Compilation of any book of this type inevitably presents difficult choices with regard to breadth versus depth of information, and in this volume

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