Capella Family Dimension of Trauma Resilience and Post Traumatic Growth Discussion

Family Resilience in the Midst of Trauma

Creating meaning out of loss requires an understanding of the profundity of the loss and the willingness to work with families and communities to embrace factors of the loss while emerging in strength through them. Constructivist approaches to intervention and human service support that focus on narrative and solution-oriented support are beneficial. In addition, the movement to understand mindfulness in social practices and to integrate its concepts to create community support is necessary as well.

Walsh (2016) recommends a vast array of supports, including spiritual and relational, personal resources and strengths, and collaboration among systems to help individuals and families thrive beyond the loss. Through narrative celebrations, cultural traditions, and community building, families can support and sustain memories and honor those lost in traumatic circumstances.

In this discussion.

Explain the concept of family resilience in the midst of trauma.

Identify an appropriate theory that can be used to support recommendations for intervention.

  • Analyze the effectiveness of strategies that have been identified for addressing trauma.
  • Child Development, January/February 2014, Volume 85, Number 1, Pages 6–20
    Global Perspectives on Resilience in Children and Youth
    Ann S. Masten
    University of Minnesota
    Global concerns about the consequences of disasters, political violence, disease, malnutrition, maltreatment,
    and other threats to human development and well-being have sparked a surge of international interest in
    resilience science. This article highlights progress and issues in research that aims to understand variations in
    human adaptation to adverse experiences. Two key questions are considered: Why is a new wave of global
    research on resilience important for developmental science? and Why is developmental science important for
    global resilience? The conclusion calls for developmental scientists to engage in international efforts to promote resilience.
    The development of children around the world is
    threatened by disasters, political violence, pandemics, and other adversities that can have life-altering
    consequences for individuals, families, and the
    future of all societies. The beginning of the 21st century was punctuated by a terrifying sequence of
    events affecting large numbers of victims across the
    world. These include 9/11 and subsequent terror
    attacks, Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, the 2004
    tsunami in the Indian Ocean triggered by one of
    the largest earthquakes in human history, the BP
    Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the 2008 earthquake
    in China, HIN1 flu, and the triple disaster of 2011
    in Japan of earthquake, tsunami, and meltdown of
    the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
    Reports from the United Nations (UN) indicate that
    tens of millions of children each year are exposed
    to disasters and conflicts, and many are displaced
    as a result (UNHCR, 2010; UNICEF, 2011, 2012).
    Millions more suffer abuse or neglect from caregivers (Cicchetti, 2013b) and sex trafficking or other
    forms of exploitation (Hartjen & Priyadarsini, 2012).
    These well-publicized adversities have raised
    global concerns about dangers posed to children as
    well as the future of societies, while also highlighting a lack of preparedness to handle such calamities. These concerns have spurred renewed
    attention to resilience across many fields of research
    as governments and international agencies search
    for evidence and guidance on what helps to
    mitigate risk and promote resistance or recovery in
    This article is based on the Presidential Address at the biennial
    meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, in
    Seattle, April 19, 2013.
    Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to
    Ann S. Masten, Institute of Child Development, University of
    Minnesota, 51 East River Road, Minneapolis, MN 55455. Electronic mail may be sent to
    the face of these threats to human life. Developmental science is well positioned to contribute to
    and benefit from a more integrated and global science of resilience.
    In this article, I invite the reader to consider two
    related questions: Why is a new wave of global
    research on resilience important for developmental
    science? and Why is developmental science important for global resilience? A brief history of resilience research in child development is highlighted
    first, including major accomplishments and critiques. Subsequently, I describe the maturation of
    developmental resilience science, progress toward a
    global knowledge base on resilience in children and
    youth, and enduring controversies. The conclusion
    offers some preliminary answers to the two questions, describes signs of globalization in the Society
    for Research in Child Development (SRCD), and
    issues a call to action for developmental scientists.
    Conceptual Origins
    Resilience can be broadly defined as the capacity of
    a dynamic system to adapt successfully to disturbances that threaten system function, viability, or
    development. The concept can be applied to systems of many kinds at many interacting levels, both
    living and nonliving, such as a microorganism, a
    child, a family, a security system, an economy, a
    forest, or the global climate. Interest in resilience as
    a concept and observable phenomenon emerged
    around the same time but independently in the
    © 2013 The Author
    Child Development © 2013 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
    All rights reserved. 0009-3920/2014/8501-0002
    DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12205
    Global Perspectives on Resilience
    fields of ecology (e.g., Holling, 1973) and psychology (e.g., Garmezy, 1971; Murphy & Moriarty,
    1976). Both areas of science, as well as many others,
    were influenced by general systems theory (von
    Bertalanffy, 1968).
    The word itself has roots in the Latin verb, resilire
    (to rebound). The concept has been adopted by many
    fields concerned with how well complex systems
    anticipate, adapt, recover, and learn in the context of
    major threats, surprises, and disasters(e.g., Gunderson, Allen, & Holling, 2010; Hollnagel, Woods, &
    Leveson, 2006; Zolli & Healy, 2012). Social scientists
    intrigued with understanding how some people
    escape the harmful effects of severe adversity, cope
    well, bounce back, or even thrive, eventually settled
    on this word to label the focus of their research.
    Resilience research in developmental science has
    deep roots in research and theory in child development, clinical sciences, and the study of individual
    differences (Luthar, 2006; Masten, 2013). The history
    of research on resilience is closely tied to the history
    of developmental psychopathology (see Cicchetti,
    2013a; Masten, 2013) and the relational developmental systems theory that infuses this integrative
    approach to understanding variations in human
    adaptation over the life course (Lerner et al., 2012;
    Overton, 2013; Sameroff, 2000).
    The Emergence of Resilience Research in
    Child Development
    World War II (WWII) set the stage for the emergence of resilience science, bringing worldwide
    attention to the plight of children affected by the
    devastation (Werner, 2000). Many children died
    and millions more survived in perilous condition:
    orphaned, injured, sick, traumatized, and starving.
    Huge numbers of children were evacuated or displaced. Shortly after the war ended, the United
    Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund
    (UNICEF) was founded to address this global emergency (Diers, 2013), and “CARE” was organized in
    the United States to send aid to Europe (initially
    the Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe; later the Cooperative for Assistance and Relief
    Everywhere), sending millions of CARE packages
    to Europe, often addressed simply, “For a hungry
    person in Europe” (Werner, 2000).
    Clinicians from different disciplines were called
    on to help with children psychologically affected by
    the war, including Anna Freud, who founded the
    Hampstead War Nurseries in England for children
    in need of care. Freud and Burlingham (1943) pub-
    lished a volume on their observations, War and Children, where they noted that children rarely showed
    “traumatic shock” when a parent was present and
    also that caregivers’ reactions were important for
    children’s reactions. A few systematic studies were
    done of children during WWII, but research was
    limited by scarce resources and the exigencies of
    war itself (Garmezy, 1983).
    A rather different legacy of WWII was its effects
    on the lives of individuals who would become pioneers in resilience science. For example, Norman
    Garmezy (1985; Garmezy & Rutter, 1983) was a
    young American soldier who served in the infantry
    in Europe, observing the Battle of the Bulge firsthand. Emmy Werner (Werner & Smith, 1982) survived the devastation of Europe as a young girl,
    directly experiencing the support of international
    relief efforts. Michael Rutter (1979, 1987) was one of
    the British children evacuated to safety in the
    United States during the war. These three would
    play leading roles in the rise of resilience science.
    As research on mental health expanded after
    WWII, investigators identified risk factors associated with elevated probabilities for various disorders and problems. In childhood, maltreatment,
    violence, and traumatic life events were often studied by risk researchers because they were common
    and consistently associated with high risk for psychopathology. Research on high-risk children soon
    revealed wide variation in outcomes and inspired
    research on children who were doing well despite
    adversity or risk (Cicchetti, 2013a; Evans, Li, &
    Whipple, 2013; Masten, 2013).
    Disasters also played a key role in early research
    on risk and resilience (Masten & Narayan, 2012). One
    occurred in Buffalo Creek, West Virginia, in 1972,
    when a coal slurry impoundment dam gave way,
    flooding and destroying the community below and
    killing 125. Ensuing litigation yielded extensive longitudinal data on effects of this disaster on children
    and adults (e.g., Gleser, Green, & Winget, 1981;
    Korol, Kramer, Grace, & Green, 2002). Despite concerns about potential bias in data obtained for lawsuits, numerous findings were replicated in
    subsequent research on mass-trauma events (Masten
    & Narayan, 2012). Children and adults showed
    dose-response gradients, for example, with more
    symptoms among individuals exposed to greater
    destruction, injury, and loss. Seventeen years later,
    dose effects were largely gone, although some trauma
    symptoms lingered; recovery and resilience appeared
    to be the norm (Green et al., 1994; Korol et al., 2002).
    A disaster on the other side of the world, the
    Australian Bushfire of 1983, also provided remark-
    able documentation of short- and long-term effects
    of disaster on children. McFarlane (1987; McFarlane
    & Van Hooff, 2009) compared symptoms among a
    large cohort of fire-exposed school children with
    students from schools outside the directly exposed
    region, both shortly after the fire and 20 years later.
    Again, dose mattered and early effects largely dissipated over the long term. This classic study also
    found that separation of children from caregivers
    was a critical predictor of how fire-exposed children
    fared, and proximity of attachment figures during
    life-threatening adversities had protective effects, as
    observed during WWII.
    In 1987, Michael Rutter published a landmark
    paper, still the most cited journal article on psychosocial resilience in the literature, that summed up
    much of the first-generation research, delineated
    key issues, and set the stage for ensuing waves
    of resilience science (Masten, 2012; Rutter, 1987).
    Rutter described resilience in terms of processes and
    turning points, provided many examples of interaction effects, and noted evidence of “steeling effects,”
    where engagement with stress served to prepare the
    individual for better subsequent adaptation.
    Accomplishments and Critiques of Early
    Resilience Science
    Rutter’s classic article and other early reviews documented the accomplishments of the first wave of
    resilience science, including models, methods, and a
    body of findings (e.g., Garmezy, 1985; Masten, Best,
    & Garmezy, 1990). Despite notable consistencies in
    the findings, shortcomings in the evidence base
    became evident and controversies began emerging.
    Models and Methods
    Early investigators established models and methods for research on resilience that continue to be
    useful, although refinements inevitably were
    needed, particularly with respect to cultural and
    contextual issues. Resilience research requires strategies for assessing risk or adversity, adaptation, and
    other influences that might explain variations in
    adaptation among children at risk, and statistical
    methods for testing models or hypotheses about the
    interplay among these possible contributors to resilience. Investigators soon recognized that single risk
    indicators did not reflect the reality of adversity
    exposure in children, who were often exposed to
    multiple risk factors or adversities. Various measures were designed to index cumulative risk or
    adversity exposure (see Evans et al., 2013; Obradovic, Shaffer, & Masten, 2012). In disaster studies,
    for example, exposure to death and destruction
    might be indexed by proximity to the epicenter of
    devastation or by counts of traumatic experiences.
    Various approaches were taken to defining adaptation as well. In some studies, adjustment was
    defined by the absence of psychopathology or other
    expected negative outcomes that defined the risk
    group of interest. In other cases, adaptation was
    evaluated on the basis of positive achievements in
    age-salient developmental tasks, the psychosocial or
    physical milestones and accomplishments expected
    for individuals in a given period of development in
    a given sociocultural context (McCormick, Kuo, &
    Masten, 2011). Some of these tasks were viewed as
    universal, such as learning to walk or talk; others
    were common across developed nations, such as
    learning to read; still others were more specific to a
    culture or context, such as learning to weave textiles, fish, or master sacred texts.
    Early models included linear and nonlinear
    effects linking adversity to adaptation (e.g., Masten
    et al., 1988). Nonlinear effects included exponential
    increases in problematic outcomes as risk or adversity levels increased or curvilinear effects where
    adaptation improved at lower levels of challenge
    and then fell at higher levels (“the challenge
    model”), analogous to the Yerkes-Dodson invertedU relation of performance to arousal. Additional
    positive explanatory factors or influences were
    added to these models to explain positive
    outcomes. When they had the same effects across
    levels of risk (a main effect in statistical models),
    they were conceptualized as assets, resources, or
    compensatory factors (later termed “promotive factors” by Sameroff, 2000). When there was an added
    or special effect when risk or adversity was high,
    they were described as “protective factors” that
    moderated risk effects (interaction effects).
    Investigators developed two basic approaches to
    identifying and testing the resources and protective
    factors associated with resilience: person focused
    and variable focused (Masten, 2001). The former
    included case studies and research on groups of
    individuals who met specified criteria for both risk
    and good adaptation, typically to compare them
    with other groups of people who shared the same
    level of risk but were maladaptive, and sometimes
    also to others who shared the same positive outcomes but had lower risk. Variable-focused
    approaches typically used multivariate statistics,
    such as hierarchical regressions, to test main effects
    and moderators.
    Global Perspectives on Resilience
    Early Findings and Critiques
    Early findings indicated key differences associated with good adaptation compared to maladaptation among high-risk groups of children. There was
    enough consistency that early reviewers (e.g., Garmezy, 1985) could summarize them in terms of
    child attributes (individual differences), family attributes (e.g., socioeconomic variation, parenting), and
    extrafamilial differences (e.g., neighborhood, school,
    mentors outside the family). Complexities emerged
    as well, including data congruent with Rutter’s
    (1987) admonition that protective effects had to be
    considered in terms of function and context, and
    not as inherent to the “protective factor” itself. One
    example heralding the importance of context was a
    study of temperament by deVries (1984) that Rutter
    (1989) used to illustrate this issue. At that time,
    developmental scientists tended to assume (as
    implied by the labels) that “easy” babies who had
    more mellow temperaments were more adaptive
    than “difficult” or “fussy” babies viewed as more
    challenging and demanding. In the deVries study,
    temperament was measured in Masai infants using
    a measure originally developed for North American
    children. After a severe drought, the investigator
    found, to his surprise, that difficult infants survived
    the harsh conditions better than easy babies. Masai
    culture may have played a part in these results,
    with multiple family members in caregiver roles,
    feeding offered on demand, and a high value on
    Some reviewers emphasized that context was
    important (e.g., Masten et al., 1990; Rutter, 1990),
    yet on the whole the early resilience literature did
    not address context well nor consider important
    cultural variations in the meaning and measurement of resilience and culturally based protective
    influences. Criteria for judging good adaptation or
    success in developmental tasks were clearly culturally based, yet rarely examined in this light, even
    though scholars called for a more sociocultural
    approach (e.g., Oerter, 1986; Ogbu, 1981). Resilience
    studies were criticized for neglecting context in
    models and methods, and especially for the lack of
    research on culturally based protective factors (e.g.,
    Luthar, Cicchetti, & Becker, 2000; Masten, 1999).
    The Maturing of Resilience Science
    In the quarter-century that followed the first wave
    of science and attendant reviews, human resilience
    science expanded and matured, becoming more
    global and multidisciplinary in scope. Advances in
    the measurement of genes and biological processes
    gave a boost to research on the neurobiology of
    resilience. Models, methods, and findings became
    more dynamic and more nuanced. Processes involving multiple levels of analysis took center stage.
    And finally, as international and multicultural
    research gained traction, global perspectives on
    resilience emerged and stimulated refinement of
    methods and theory. Key changes are highlighted
    Complex Adaptive Systems
    Over the decades since the science on resilience
    in children began, the conceptualization of the construct grew more dynamic (Masten, 2013; Schoon,
    2012), reflecting a broader systems transformation
    in developmental science (e.g., Lerner et al., 2012;
    Zelazo, 2013). This relational developmental systems framework (Overton, 2013) integrated ideas
    from developmental systems theory (Lerner, 2006),
    ecological systems theory (Bronfenbrenner & Morris, 2006), family systems theory (Goldenberg &
    Goldenberg, 2013), biological systems (Lickliter,
    2013), and developmental psychopathology (Cicchetti, 2013a). Contemporary systems models assume
    that many systems interact or “co-act” to shape the
    course of development, across levels of function,
    from the molecular to the macro-levels of physical
    and sociocultural ecologies. The resilience of an
    individual over the course of development depends
    on the function of complex adaptive systems that
    are continually interacting and transforming. As a
    result, the resilience of a person is always changing
    and the capacity for adaptation of an individual
    will be distributed across interacting systems.
    I have previously suggested that many of the
    widely observed protective factors for individual
    resilience in children reflect adaptive systems
    shaped by biological and cultural evolution
    (Masten, 2001, 2007). These include close attachment relationships, reward systems and mastery
    motivation, intelligence and executive functions,
    and cultural belief systems and traditions in many
    forms, including religion. Each of these adaptive
    systems can be considered at various levels of
    analysis from multiple disciplinary perspectives,
    including anthropology, biology, ecology, economics, psychology, and sociology.
    Multilevel dynamics (processes linking levels of
    function within and across systems) hold considerable interest in resilience theory. For example, there
    is great interest in processes by which adversity is
    biologically embedded and mitigated (e.g., Karatoreos & McEwen, 2013), violence at the community
    level influences family function and thereby cascades to affect children (e.g., Cummings et al.,
    2012), or good parenting influences the development of executive function skills in children at the
    neural and behavioral levels (e.g., Blair, Berry,
    Mills-Koonce, & Granger, 2013). Disasters underscore the interdependence of individual, family,
    and community systems, as well as biological,
    physical, and ecological systems across levels
    (Masten & Narayan, 2012). Large-scale disasters like
    Katrina or the 2011 tsunami in Japan challenge or
    destroy many adaptive systems simultaneously
    across large areas and groups of people. Consequently, recovery can take some time, and adequate
    preparation for disasters usually requires an integrated perspective with consideration of multiple,
    interdependent systems.
    Trajectories and Pathways
    Modeling dynamic change in complex systems is
    a challenge across many fields of research, and
    resilience science is no exception. Conceptually,
    these models and ideas are not new; Gottesman
    illustrated such models decades ago (e.g., Gottesman, 1974) and they have been important in the
    history of developmental psychopathology (e.g.,
    Cicchetti, 2013a; Masten, 2006). However, progress
    in statistical methodology for modeling change
    within individuals over time and between-person
    differences in within-person change have opened
    new possibilities for studying pathways and trajectories in developmental science (Grimm, Ram, &
    Hamagami, 2011). Statistical and computing
    advances, in combination with repeated measures
    in longitudinal studies, have made it possible to
    begin testing pathway models and illustrating real
    trajectories of behavior over time in the context of
    acute or chronic adversities.
    Theoretical pathway models of resilience in the
    context of acute and chronic adversity have been
    presented by a number of scholars in the resilience
    field (e.g., Masten & Narayan, 2012). These models
    illustrate different patterns of adaptive behavior
    over time in relation to onset of a traumatic experience or change in adversity level, often illustrating
    stress-resistance, a pattern with little or minor disturbance of function in response to an adverse
    experience (Bonanno & Diminich, 2013, term this
    pattern “minimal-impact resilience”), breakdown
    and recovery of function in response to a sudden
    overwhelming stressor (sometimes called a “recov-
    ery” pattern), and posttraumatic growth or
    improvement in function in response to adversity.
    In the case of chronic adversity, such as might
    occur with institutional rearing or child maltreatment, another pattern has been delineated, where
    function is poor or declining and then turns
    around when conditions improve, a pattern variously referred to as “normalization” (Masten &
    Obradovic, 2008) or “emergent resilience” (Bonanno
    & Diminich, 2013). Some scholars also include the
    maladaptive patterns in their pathway figures,
    where breakdown or decreases in function occur in
    the aftermath of adversity followed by little or no
    Growth curve modeling and group-based trajectory modeling techniques (Grimm et al., 2011;
    Nagin, 2005) have made it possible to study patterns of change over time in individuals and test
    for hypothesized response patterns. Longitudinal
    studies with repeated measures are rare; however,
    there are some recent examples of research on trajectories in children. Betancourt, McBain, Newnham, and Brennan (2013), using latent class growth
    curve analysis, identified four trajectories of internalizing symptoms over time in a sample of child
    soldiers and other youth from Sierra Leone with
    extremely high trauma exposure: a stress-resistance
    (minimal-impact resilience) pattern with steady,
    low internalizing symptoms (41% showed this pattern), a recovery pattern with substantial improvement over time in symptoms (47%; presoldier
    measures were not available), persisting symptoms
    (5%), and a deteriorating pattern of worsening
    symptoms (6%). Another study of trajectories utilized data from a study of 568 children followed
    after Hurricane Andrew (La Greca et al., 2013) and
    latent growth mixture modeling to identify three
    trajectories based on measures at 3, 7, and
    10 months posthurricane: (minimal-impact) resilient
    (37%), recovering (43%), and persistently distressed
    (20%). Both these studies offer support for several
    predicted trajectories, including resilience pathways
    and persisting effects, while also corroborating the
    observation that the majority of children, even after
    severe acute or chronic adversities, show resilience
    in some form.
    The Neurobiology of Resilience
    Research on the neurobiology of resilience has
    surged with advances in methodology that make it
    possible to measure genes and epigenetic change,
    examine the status of stress-response systems and
    immune system function, and see the brain in
    Global Perspectives on Resilience
    action through various imaging techniques (Cicchetti, 2013a, 2013b; Hughes, 2012; Karatoreos &
    McEwen, 2013; Kim-Cohen & Turkewitz, 2012;
    Masten, 2013; Russo, Murrough, Han, Charney, &
    Nestler, 2012). Some of these techniques can only
    be utilized in the context of laboratories; however,
    some are “field friendly,” making it possible to
    assess biomarkers of stress or adaptation processes
    in authentic ecological settings and even in the
    midst of disaster recovery experiences. DNA, salivary cortisol, and blood spots, for example, have
    been collected in remote and high-stress contexts,
    including trailer parks set up after Hurricane
    Katrina (e.g., Vigil, Geary, Granger, & Flinn, 2010),
    homeless shelters (e.g., Cutuli, Wiik, Herbers,
    Gunnar, & Masten, 2010), foster homes (e.g., Fisher,
    Van Ryzin, & Gunnar, 2011), treatment centers for
    maltreated children and their families (e.g., Cicchetti,
    2013a, 2013b), home visits with low-income and
    rural families (e.g., Blair et al., 2013), and field sites
    around the world in which anthropologists are
    including biomarker assessments along with their
    more traditional measures (McDade, Williams, &
    Snodgrass, 2007; Worthman & Costello, 2009;
    Worthman & Panter-Brick, 2008).
    Research conducted with diverse samples of children from developing and developed nations plays
    an important role in the neurobiological wave of
    research on risk and resilience. For example, cortisol
    from hair sampling has been examined in girls with
    various levels of exposure to the 2008 devastating
    Wenchuan earthquake in China (Luo et al., 2012).
    Cortisol measured from hair samples is a potential
    biomarker that provides a “timeline” of stress
    responses embedded in the hair as it grows. Results
    show exposure effects, with cortisol levels elevated
    in girls who were more exposed. In addition, girls
    with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) showed
    different patterns and lower cortisol than exposed
    girls who did not have PTSD.
    Research on cortisol using various assessment
    methodologies in diverse contexts of adversity has
    yielded a complex picture of how the stress regulation systems may be affected by trauma experiences
    over the life course and over generations (Gunnar
    & Herrera, 2013; Matthews & Phillips, 2012). For
    reasons not yet clear, either elevated or reduced
    cortisol levels or reactivity can be found after
    adversity. Exposure timing may play a role, and
    there is considerable interest in prenatal programming effects, presumably epigenetically mediated,
    in response to trauma exposure of mothers. Yehuda
    and colleagues, for example, have studied cortisol
    in the children of survivors of the Holocaust and
    9/11, observing lower cortisol levels among mothers who developed PTSD and their offspring (see
    Yehuda et al., 2010). Greater effects were found
    with 9/11 exposure in the third trimester.
    Developmental Timing
    There is growing international interest in timing
    effects of physical and psychological stressors on
    human development. Some of this research stems
    from WWII, including the studies of radiation exposure on children after the atomic bombing of Japan
    and the “Dutch Famine” studies. Research on radiation exposures in children after the atomic bombs
    were dropped on Japan and more recently from the
    radiation leaks after the explosion of the Chernobyl
    nuclear plant shows clear timing effects (Fushiki,
    2013); worse effects are observed with fetal exposure during organogenesis, and the central nervous
    system is particularly sensitive during weeks 8–25.
    Similarly, studies of children who experienced the
    famine during the occupation of the Netherlands in
    the winter of 1944–1945 also show differential timing effects on the life-long health of surviving children (e.g., Painter, Roseboom, & Bleker, 2005).
    Another study of Chernobyl indicated timing
    effects focused on psychological stress rather than
    radiation, drawing data from a national twin study
    underway at the time in Finland. The known timing of Chernobyl (in 1986) made it possible to
    design a natural experiment to compare adolescent
    twins who were in gestation during this incident
    with a cohort of twins conceived a year later, after
    the worst fears about radiation had dissipated
    (Huizink et al., 2008). Results indicated biological
    differences in hormones not attributable to radiation exposure. For example, salivary cortisol levels
    were higher among adolescent offspring of mothers
    pregnant during Chernobyl, and timing suggested
    greater vulnerability during the second trimester.
    Developmental timing has been implicated for
    protective processes as well as vulnerability. There
    is growing interest in delineating the processes by
    which adaptive systems “learn” or are “tuned” to
    the expected environment, to be effective for the
    organism in context. Evidence supporting the
    “hygiene hypothesis” for the rising prevalence of
    asthma, allergies, and related immune dysfunctions
    in modern societies provides an example of the
    benefits of early exposure to microorganisms for
    calibrating the immune system (Okada, Kuhn,
    Feillet, & Bach, 2010). For instance, growing up on
    a farm is protective for respiratory allergy (von
    Mutius & Radon, 2008). Timing is important as the
    same type of exposures coming too late can trigger
    There is great interest in identifying sensitive
    periods for additional adaptive systems and processes because of the profound implications for policy, prevention, and practice. There may well be
    windows of opportunity and plasticity when adaptive systems can be promoted (or protected from
    harm) to favor resilience; these windows could
    point to targets and timing of interventions or prevention efforts that would have a high return on
    investment or greater effectiveness (Masten, 2011).
    For example, research on international adoption as
    an intervention to improve the rearing context
    suggests that children adopted at younger ages
    from institutions to homes with good care-giving
    fare better than later adopted children (Gunnar &
    Herrera, 2013). The emerging work on prenatal
    stress effects on the fetus suggests that stress-regulation systems may also be sensitive to interventions
    that protect and support mothers during pregnancy.
    The research on programming effects during sensitive periods has raised the possibility of reprogramming adaptive systems as a strategy of
    intervention, or reopening windows of plasticity
    (Meaney, 2010). Growing knowledge of epigenetic
    change and gene expression in mature animals is
    opening new horizons for intervention, and also
    may recast the questions of sensitization versus
    steeling effects in resilience science.
    Resilience (At Last!) in Cultural Context
    Serious attention to culture in resilience research
    was long overdue. During the early decades of
    resilience science, theory and data considering resilience in cultural context were limited (Luthar, 2006;
    Ungar, Ghazinour, & Richter, 2013; Wachs &
    Rahman, 2013; Wright, Masten, & Narayan, 2013).
    In the past two decades, research on the role of culture in resilience finally began to flourish. Numerous books and conferences have focused on the
    social ecologies of resilience and there are more
    cross-cultural and multicultural studies. There is
    greater attention to cultural practices, including religion, that may foster resilience in individuals and
    communities (see Ungar, 2012). The World Bank
    published a review of the international evidence on
    risk and resilience related to the global economic
    crisis (Lundberg & Wuermli, 2012). Studies of
    migration and acculturation flourished (see Masten,
    Liebkind, & Hernandez, 2012), addressing issues
    like the “immigrant paradox,” when first-generation
    youth show better health or adjustment than subse-
    quent generations (Garcia Coll & Marks, 2012).
    Research on children in war and disasters
    expanded, often focused on resilience (Masten &
    Narayan, 2012).
    Ungar (2011) proposed a social ecological model
    of resilience that highlights the role of culture and
    context. Ungar and colleagues founded the Resilience Centre at Dalhousie University, mobilizing a
    network of investigators across five continents to
    study resilience. Their work is yielding a rich body
    of qualitative and quantitative data that expands
    and challenges resilience theory (see Ungar, 2012;
    Ungar et al., 2013). In the Basotho community of
    South Africa, for example, investigators observed
    the importance of “Botho” (a philosophy similar to
    “Ubunto” in other African cultures that emphasize
    human interdependence) in young people identified
    as resilient (Theron, Theron, & Malindi, 2012). Resilient youth in Basotho were described as flexible
    and determined, common attributes reported in
    youth viewed as resilient in many cultures, but also
    as well connected to community support systems
    and respectful of community values important to
    their culture.
    Investigators have documented cultural rituals
    that appear to play a powerful role in the acceptance and recovery of young people who are struggling to overcome adverse experiences, particularly
    when they have offended societal values or committed humanitarian atrocities under duress. In an
    article on “rethinking resilience from indigenous
    perspectives,” Kirmayer, Dandeneau, Marshall,
    Phillips, and Williamson (2011) describe the ritual
    of reconciliation and forgiveness practiced by
    the indigenous people of Atlantic Canada, the
    Mi’kmaq, to resolve offenses and settle conflicts.
    Rituals of cleansing and forgiveness also appear to
    be important in the reintegration and recovery of
    child soldiers in African cultures (e.g., Boothby,
    Crawford, & Halperin, 2006).
    For young people who face racial or ethnic discrimination, there is increasing research on protective strategies that foster resilience, both naturally
    occurring and through interventions (Evans et al.,
    2012; Hughes et al., 2006; Serafica & Vargas, 2006).
    Research indicates strategies used by parents and
    families in their racial/ethnic socialization to convey pride in racial/ethnic heritage while also training children to deal with prejudice, the dangers of
    discrimination, and barriers to opportunity. Sirin
    and colleagues (Sirin & Gupta, 2012) have studied
    successful adaptation in Muslim-American youth in
    the aftermath of 9/11, a difficult period for Muslim
    immigrant families in the United States, with a
    Global Perspectives on Resilience
    focus on the success of young people who reside
    happily “on the hyphen,” effectively navigating
    their bicultural contexts. At the same time, there is
    growing recognition of the corrosive effects of discrimination on development and the importance of
    a social justice agenda directed at changing the context rather than expecting a child to adapt to injustice (Fisher, Busch-Rossnagel, Jopp, & Brown, 2012;
    Ungar et al., 2013).
    Investigators focused on understanding risk and
    resilience in cultural context have taken research
    into very challenging environments. The work of
    Panter-Brick and Eggerman (Eggerman & PanterBrick, 2010; Panter-Brick, Goodman, Tol, & Eggerman, 2011) in Afghanistan offers an example from
    an extremely challenging research environment rife
    with ongoing political conflicts, dangers related to
    family and community violence, and economic distress. This team was able to conduct a school-based
    survey of mental health with over 1,000 students
    and their adult caregivers, supplemented by interviews and subsample follow-ups. Their methods
    included strategies to systematically glean ethnographic data for analysis, with open-ended questions about daily difficulties and solutions, as well
    as quantitative assessments. This group argues persuasively that values in the Afghan culture (faith,
    family unity, service, effort, morals, and honor) provide a sense of cohesion and meaning to life that
    plays a central role in resilience of Afghan families
    and their children.
    Research in challenging contexts also includes
    studies of young people living in war zones or
    engaged in prolonged violent political conflicts.
    There is a growing and distinctive literature on
    youth engaged in ethnopolitical conflicts around the
    world that has required thoughtful attention to political and cultural issues (Barber, 2009; Cummings
    et al., 2012; Dimitry, 2012; Masten & Narayan, 2012).
    Numerous studies in the Middle East since 2000
    have focused on youth engaged, often voluntarily, in
    violent situations such as the Palestinian–Israeli conflict that have complex cultural and political histories. For example, researchers have contrasted the
    political, socioeconomic, and cultural experiences of
    Palestinian, Israeli-Jewish, and Israeli-Arab children
    living in Gaza, the West Bank, and other regions of
    Israel as they study the effects of the conflict (Barber,
    2009; Dimitry, 2012). Some findings are provocative.
    Youth in these conflicts appear to gain a sense of
    identity and agency through their engagement,
    despite the inherent dangers, underscoring the
    importance of context for understanding perceived
    meaning and roles in these conflicts.
    In a rare, longitudinal study of multilevel
    dynamics, Boxer et al. (2013) examined spreading
    effects over time linking interethnic political violence at higher levels of social ecology to violence
    exposure in more proximal youth microsystems
    (community, family, school violence) to individual
    youth aggression. The study applied structural
    equation modeling to three waves of data collected
    over 3 years with Palestinian and Israeli youth who
    were 8, 11, and 14 years old. Results suggested cascading effects of violence across ecological contexts,
    from political system to microsystems to individuals, resulting in increases in individual violence.
    Revisiting Four Enduring Controversies Through
    a Global Lens
    Over the years, there have been persistent issues
    and controversies in resilience science (see Luthar,
    2006; Masten, 2012, 2013; Panter-Brick & Leckman,
    2013; Rutter, 1987). Many of these controversies
    involve considerations of context, including culture
    and nationality.
    What Does Resilience Mean?
    The meaning of resilience in developmental science has been a matter of some controversy for decades. Research on resilience requires operational
    definitions of risk, threat, or disturbances and adaptive outcomes or processes of interest. Defining positive adaptation involves implicit or explicit value
    judgments or criteria about desirable adaptation (see
    Masten, 2001). Such judgments are influenced by
    cultures of science, as well as sociocultural and historical context. Evolutionary biologists may be concerned with reproductive fitness of the population,
    while child psychologists may be focused on individual competence in age-salient developmental
    tasks. Global research on competence and resilience
    indicates both commonalities and variation in these
    criteria (McCormick et al., 2011; Ungar, 2012).
    Research in more diverse societies highlights the variation in interpreted meaning of similar experiences
    and the profound role of culture in shaping exposures, responses, and expectations of children in
    adversity (Eggerman & Panter-Brick, 2010; Masten &
    Narayan, 2012; Ungar et al., 2013).
    Who Defines “Adaptive” or Doing Well?
    A related controversy concerns the issue of who
    should define the meaning and measures of resil-
    ience in research. Should it be individually defined
    (e.g., perceived stress and well-being; tailored to the
    situation) or objectively defined by community or
    national or international standards? What kind of
    validation is meaningful for measures developed in
    one culture or context and applied to another?
    What about research on children who must adapt
    to multiple cultures and sets of expectations simultaneously (as is the case for many immigrant
    youth)? Wrestling with these questions is essential
    to global research on resilience.
    Is There a Trait of Resilience?
    This perennial issue should be put to rest
    (Masten, 2012; Panter-Brick & Leckman, 2013;
    Rutter, 1987). The answer is no. There are personality (or temperament) dimensions consistently associated with resilience, such as conscientiousness;
    however, there is evidence that experiences shape
    personality traits, that traits can influence exposure
    to adversity, and also that the same trait can function as a vulnerability or protective influence,
    depending on the domain of adaptation, the physical or sociocultural value and meaning of the trait,
    and the age or gender of the individual (Lengua &
    Wachs, 2012; Shiner & Masten, 2012). An inhibited
    adolescent, for example, may be at risk for social or
    emotional problems but protected from the dangers
    of risk-taking behaviors. Global research has played
    a significant role in addressing this issue, through
    findings that illustrate the range of capacities and
    values related to variations in the meaning and function of individual differences in temperament or personality across cultures and situations. In addition,
    growing theory and research on individual differences in sensitivity to experience, or differential susceptibility to the environment, underscore the role of
    context in moderating the influence of individual
    differences on adaptive function and development
    (e.g., Belsky, Bakermans-Kranenburg, & van IJzendoorn, 2007; Ellis & Boyce, 2011). In addition, such
    individual differences in temperament or “sensitivity” themselves appear to be developmentally influenced by experience and context.
    Is There a Price to Pay for Resilience?
    Another enduring issue in the study of resilience
    is the question of whether resilience takes a toll
    through the demands imposed by adapting well
    under high adversity. This issue takes two forms.
    One is the idea of scarring or lingering effects of
    experienced adversity on development, despite
    achieving good adaptive function in multiple ways,
    which might better be termed a price of adversity
    rather than resilience. A second kind of “price”
    explicitly refers to the toll of striving for resilience
    under extremely difficult conditions. There has been
    scattered evidence that some young people from
    very high-risk backgrounds showing resilience in
    developmental tasks suffer long-term health issues
    (e.g., Werner & Smith, 2001). This issue re-emerged
    in a study of allostatic load observed among youth
    in an intervention study (Brody et al., 2013), with
    the provocative title, “Is Resilience Only Skin Deep?”
    Young people with a track record of resilience from
    African American families showed high allostatic
    load (e.g., high body mass index and high blood
    pressure) in conjunction with the good psychosocial
    adjustment. Global perspectives may shed light on
    the contexts in which resilience exacts such a “toll.”
    Today, resilience research in child development
    reflects a broad transformation occurring in multiple sciences concerned with adaptation in complex
    developing systems. The concepts and empirical
    approaches are more dynamic, as investigators
    attempt to understand and promote adaptive
    change or the capacity for positive adaptation in a
    context of existing or potential threats and surprises. Efforts to prepare for global disasters and
    threats of diverse kinds appear to be motivating
    forces to integrate and share tools, concepts, and
    knowledge across fields to enhance the capacity
    for effective system responses to expected or
    unexpected threats. There are efforts to create common concepts and tools that will facilitate building
    a more integrated, scalable, multidisciplinary science of resilience to address issues of global concern (Brown, 2013; Gunderson & Holling, 2002;
    Masten & Obradovic, 2008; Welsh, 2013). Intervention efforts have taken center stage, to test models
    and methods for promoting resilience.
    As a result of this transformation, the importance
    of global perspectives, knowledge, and research on
    resilience has surged. Developmental science has
    much to gain and much to contribute to a new
    phase of global science on resilience.
    Why Is Global Research on Resilience Important for
    Developmental Science?
    Global research on resilience in human development has the potential to contribute to developmental
    Global Perspectives on Resilience
    science in multiple ways. First, research in more
    diverse cultural, political, and geographic contexts
    expands the evidence base on developmental processes and the full range of adaptive processes
    involved in resilience. Second, challenges posed by
    multicultural or multinational contexts can drive
    innovation in design and methodology, as well as
    theory. Research in remote or low-technology contexts, for example, has motivated the development
    of practical methods for assessment of behavioral
    and biological variables in the field. Third, research
    on resilience can challenge theory and provoke
    important refinements. The research on temperament and survival in the Masai study by deVries
    (1984) challenged the notion of “easy temperament”
    (and, by implication, any single personality trait) as
    a universal protective factor. Similarly, the recent
    research on youth engaged in political violence has
    challenged the idea that high exposure to adversity
    erodes well-being (Barber, 2009; Tol, Song, &
    Jordans, 2013). Global research also offers opportunities for natural and planned experiments on
    issues of international significance, such as protecting children and promoting recovery in the contexts
    of natural or technological disasters or violent political conflicts. Fourth, global resilience science
    informs intervention design, through successes and
    failures of efforts to deliberately promote resilience
    in different cultures and situational contexts.
    Adapting evidence-based practices created in one
    sociocultural context for application in another context can generate knowledge about the robustness
    as well as the limitations of an intervention. Lessons are beginning to accumulate on traumafocused interventions suitable for implementation
    after mass-trauma events with children and families
    (e.g., La Greca & Silverman, 2009).
    Globalization of resilience science also has the
    potential to increase appreciation for the value of
    developmental science across sectors, sciences, and
    cultures. Research on resilience in children has a
    compelling rationale and the translational utility often is readily apparent (Masten, 2011),
    generating interest in the science to find out what
    may be helpful in reducing exposure or harm and
    promoting positive adaptation and development.
    Why Is Developmental Science Important for Global
    A reciprocal case can be made for the value of
    developmental science with respect to global resilience. The scope of endangered children in the
    world and the stakes for families, cultures, and
    societies are enormous. There is a need for more
    knowledge about risk and protective processes
    and how to prepare for specific threats to human
    development in the event of exposures to disaster,
    terror, displacement, abandonment, and many
    other extremely dangerous situations for child
    development. International agencies are requesting
    knowledge and guidance about the best ways to
    invest their resources; there is growing interest in
    moving beyond survival goals to promoting
    healthy development and resilience in children
    and adolescents (Britto, Engle, & Super, 2013;
    Diers, 2013; Shonkoff et al., 2012). Global economic agencies like the World Bank are investing
    in children as a key strategy for promoting the
    economic future of nations as well as individuals,
    again with a strong emphasis on resilience (Lundberg & Wuermli, 2012).
    UNICEF is the custodian and champion of the
    UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
    (UNCRC) which calls on all nations to protect
    and foster the rights of children to survival,
    development, protection, and participation (Diers,
    2013). The UNCRC requires special efforts to protect children in “especially difficult circumstances,” including child labor, sexual exploitation,
    and armed conflict. UNICEF and other international agencies also are focused on resilience in
    the context of promoting peace through work
    with children. For example, UNICEF’s Peacebuilding, Education and Advocacy in Conflictaffected Countries program for 2012 through 2015
    includes the goal of increasing “capacity of children, parents, teachers and other duty-bearers to
    prevent, reduce, and cope with conflict and promote peace” (UNICEF, 2013).
    SRCD has responded to the growing interest
    and urgency for global developmental science in
    multiple ways. The 2005 strategic plan encourages
    global engagement: The mission statement calls
    for interdisciplinary research in diverse contexts
    and states that SRCD “fosters the exchange of
    information among scientists and research consumers worldwide.” One of the five strategic
    goals states that “SRCD will incorporate international perspectives in its organization, activities,
    and membership. ”Implementing the strategic
    plan, SRCD has sponsored a series of preconferences at the biennial meeting with a global
    research focus, including one on immigrant youth
    in 2011 and a second in 2013 on interventions for
    children and youth in low- and middle-income
    countries. SRCD fosters engagement of international young scholars through travel awards
    and speakers from many different countries and
    regions of the world at conferences. In addition,
    SRCD sponsors meetings on international themes
    through grants, such as the 2014 special topic
    meeting in Prague on “Positive Youth Development in the Context of the Global Recession.”
    SRCD also features international research in its
    journals and books. In 2010, for example, there was
    a special section of this journal on Children in War
    and Disaster (Masten & Osofsky, 2010). In collaboration with UNICEF, the Society cosponsored the
    publication of the Handbook of Early Childhood Development Research and Its Impact on Global Policy (Britto
    et al., 2013). These publications have been further
    disseminated through briefs and briefings organized by SRCD’s Office for Policy and Communications in Washington, DC.
    The Society also played a key role in support of
    the newly forming International Consortium of
    Developmental Science Societies. This consortium
    includes representatives from leading international
    research societies, with goals of advancing developmental science and its applications for the enhancement of global health and well-being over the life
    course. SRCD helped facilitate the initial planning
    meeting for this consortium, hosted in December
    2012, by the Jacobs Foundation at Schloss Marbach,
    in Germany.
    A Call to Global Engagement for Developmental
    The time is ripe for developmental scientists to
    engage in global activities that foster the well-being
    and resilience of children. Governmental and nongovernmental organizations around the world, as
    well as first responders, educators, and other scientists who study human adaptation and resilience,
    are seeking knowledge, guidance, and partners.
    We, as developmental scientists, can answer the
    call. We can show up, bring the best evidence available, and learn to communicate our science across
    fields and sectors and cultures. We can engage
    young scholars in these activities to nurture their
    future engagement as developmental scientists in
    these collaborative global endeavors. Engaged
    developmental scientists are not only good for
    developmental science and its applications in practice or policy, but ultimately important for improving the well-being of children globally and, with
    these investments, the future well-being of global
    health and human development.
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