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Am Psychol. 2001 Mar;56(3):227-38.

Ordinary magic. Resilience processes in development.

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  • 1Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota, 51 East River Road, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0345, USA. amasten@tc.umn.edu

Abstract

The study of resilience in development has overturned many negative assumptions and deficit-focused models about children growing up under the threat of disadvantage and adversity. The most surprising conclusion emerging from studies of these children is the ordinariness of resilience. An examination of converging findings from variable-focused and person-focused investigations of these phenomena suggests that resilience is common and that it usually arises from the normative functions of human adaptational systems, with the greatest threats to human development being those that compromise these protective systems. The conclusion that resilience is made of ordinary rather than extraordinary processes offers a more positive outlook on human development and adaptation, as well as direction for policy and practice aimed at enhancing the development of children at risk for problems and psychopathology.

PMID:
11315249
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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