Resilience in Development: A Synthesis of Research across Five Decades

Suniya S. Luthar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1005 Scopus citations


This chapter describes the major developments in the field of resilience since its inception more than 40 years ago, and presents a brief history on resilience. It elucidates critical features of research on this construct, highlighting three sets of issues: definitions and operationalization of the two constructs at its core, protective and vulnerability factors; distinctions between the construct of resilience and related constructs, such as competence and ego resiliency; and differences between resilience research and related fields, including risk research, prevention science, and positive psychology. Of the psychological constructs with which resilience has some overlap, social competence is perhaps the most salient. The chapter focuses on major findings on vulnerability and protective factors. These are discussed in terms of the specific factors found to modify risk within three broad categories, which include attributes of the family, community, and child. Particularly important in shaping long-term resilient trajectories are early family relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRisk, Disorder, and Adaptation
Number of pages57
ISBN (Electronic)9780470939406
ISBN (Print)9780471237389
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Child maltreatment
  • Childhood resilience
  • Children's peer relationships
  • Family relationships
  • Family support
  • Parent nurturance
  • Protective parenting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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