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Chapter 14

Resilience Across the Life Span

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This chapter discusses the concept of resilience from a life span perspective informed by relational developmental systems theory. Resilience involves mutually beneficial (adaptive) relations between characteristics of individuals (e.g., their self-regulation behaviors) and features of the ecology (e.g., resources promoting healthy development); these links may be represented as individual ←→ context relations, and they involve adjustment in the context of challenges or maintenance of appropriate functioning in the face of variations in the resources needed to achieve health. Resilience, then, is an attribute of positive human development (PHD) achieved through adaptive individual ←→ context relations (termed adaptive “developmental regulations”). We review research across the life span that speaks to the use of this conception of resilience for understanding the contributions individuals make to their own positive development and to the maintenance or perpetuation of PHD-supportive assets of their ecologies. Directions for further research and for applications aimed at promoting PHD are discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 February 2012

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