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Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2003 Sep;5(3):273-80.

Psychological and social aspects of resilience: a synthesis of risks and resources.

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  • 1Children's Hospital, San Diego; University of California, San Diego, Calif, USA.


It has been conventional wisdom that early deprivation and trauma can lead unequivocally to later adult debilitation and disorder. That this is not in fact the case has become abundantly clear via a variety of recent new research. While early adversity can be a severe impediment, there is a myriad of accounts of people who have been born into lives of abject destitution, yet have grown into stable, productive, and generative adults. There are certainly personal and social factors that increase the risks of frailty and failing. By the same token, these same risk factors can contribute to the enhancement of one's life, and increase the chances of resilience and of leading fulfilling lives. There is now evidence that society has the knovi/ledge to implement prevention and early intervention programs that foster and enhance personal development; the question is, does it have the will and commitment to do so?


adolescent; children; intervention; prevention; resilience; resources; risk

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