Resilience and Vulnerability: Adaptation in the Context of Childhood Adversities

By Suniya S. Luthar | Go to book overview

10
Rethinking Resilience
A Developmental Process Perspective

Tuppett M. Yates, Byron Egeland, L., and Alan Sroufe

Children's talent to endure stems from their ignorance of alternatives

(Maya Angelou, 1969)


INTRODUCTION

A central tenet of contemporary developmental psychopathology is that our understandings of normative and abnormal development mutually inform one another (Cicchetti, 1990, 1993; Cicchetti & Cohen, 1995; Sroufe & Rutter, 1984). Historically, however, research has focused on the determinants of psychopathology and maladaptation to the relative exclusion of elucidating factors that contribute to the initiation and maintenanceof adaptive developmental pathways. More recently, a strong and growing literature has emerged identifying factors that enable individuals to achieve adaptive developmental outcomes despite adversity.

The study of risk and resilience derived from the observation that some individuals in populations exposed to incontrovertible adversity nevertheless achieve adaptive developmental outcomes (e.g., Garmezy, 1974; Murphy & Moriarty, 1976; Rutter, 1979; Sameroff & Seifer, 1983; Werner & Smith, 1992). These individuals exemplify resilience, “the process of, capacity for, or outcome of successful adaptation despite challenging or

Preparation of this work was supported in part by a grant from the National Institute of
Mental Health (MH0864) awarded to the second and third authors. The first author was
supported by the National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship.

The authors wishtothank Benjamin Aguilar, Karen Appleyard, Elizabeth Carlson, Glenn
Roisman, Megan Sampson, and Gloria Whaley for their comments on an earlier draft of
this chapter.

-243-

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