Promoting resilience in youth from divorced families: Lessons learned from experimental trials of the new beginnings program

Sharlene Wolchik, Clorinda E. Schenck, Irwin Sandler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


This article focuses on the contributions that the program of research on the New Beginnings Program (NBP) has made to understanding pathways to resilience in youth who experience parental divorce. First, the research demonstrating that divorce increases risk for mental health, physical health, and social adaptation problems is reviewed. Next, theory and research linking social environmental-level and youth-level modifiable risk factors and resilience resources to youth's postdivorce adjustment are presented. The conceptual framework underlying the NBP and the risk factors and resilience resources targeted in this program are described next. The short-term and long-term results of two experimental, randomized efficacy trials of the NBP and moderators and mediators of its effects are then presented. Analyses that examine whether youth self-systems beliefs account for the links between program-induced changes in family-level resilience resources and positive long-term program on adaptation outcomes are presented and how experimental trials can be used to further theories of resilience for youth facing adversities is discussed. The final section describes directions for future research on the NBP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1833-1868
Number of pages36
JournalJournal of personality
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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