Resilience and Vulnerability: Adaptation in the Context of Childhood Adversities

By Suniya S. Luthar | Go to book overview

1
A Resilience Framework for Research, Policy,
and Practice

Ann S. Masten and Jenifer L. Powell

It was a search for understanding the nature and origins of schizophrenia that brought Norman Garmezy to the study of children at risk for psychopathology, a pursuit that eventually led to the Project Competence studies of competence, adversity, and resilience (Garmezy, 1973). During the 1940s and 1950s, Garmezy developed an interest in the significance of competence in the history and prognosis of patients with serious mental disorders, with a particular focus on premorbid functioning in patients with schizophrenia (Garmezy & Rodnick, 1959). Eventually, the search for antecedents of psychopathology led Garmezy and others to study children of mentally ill parents because of their elevated risk of developing disorders. After his move to the University of Minnesota in 1961, Garmezy began to focus his work on children, and subsequently played a leading

The program of research known as Project Competence was founded by Norman Garmezy,
Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Minnesota, who has been a great
mentor and colleague to many investigators in the study of resilience over many years,
including the first author. Auke Tellegen, also Professor Emeritus of Psychology, joined
Garmezy as Co-Principal Investigator on the longitudinal study and continues to contribute
his remarkable methodological talents and wisdom to the project. The William T. Grant
Foundation has supported the longitudinal study from the outset; we are deeply grateful
for their abiding support for Project Competence. The National Institute of Mental Health
supported this project in multiple ways, through grants for the first 10 years of assessments
in the longitudinal study and also through a lifetime career development award to Professor
Garmezy and training grants that supported students. The National Science Foundation
(NSF/SBR-9729111), along with the Grant Foundation (97–1845–97), has supported the
current 20-year follow-up of the longitudinal cohort through grants to Masten and Tellegen.
The authors also want to express their gratitude to the many participants who have shared
their lives so that others could learn and also to the many colleagues and fellow students
who have made our journey so interesting.

-1-

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