Research on resilience: An integrative review

Suniya S. Luthar, Laurel Bidwell Zelazo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

317 Scopus citations


The contributors to this volume have provided a wealth of information on children facing different life adversities, and in this concluding chapter we provide a distillation of two sets of themes. The first encompasses conceptual and methodological issues in studies of resilience – which, as defined in this book, is a process or phenomenon reflecting positive child adjustment despite conditions of risk. Since its inception a few decades ago, various commentaries have led to refinements in the research on resilience, yet several important issues have remained either unclear or controversial. The introductory chapter of this volume provides a succinct summary of this field at its initiation. In this chapter, we draw from the cutting-edge research presented throughout this book to clarify critical issues in studying resilience, with the ultimate goal of maximizing the contributions of future work on this construct. In turn, we consider (a) distinctions between the risk and resilience paradigms; (b) approaches to measuring adversity and competence; and (c) various concerns about protective and vulnerability factors, including the differences between them, issues about the specificity of effects, and the types of issues most usefully examined in future studies. Contrasting with the focus on empirical research in the first half of this chapter, the second half is focused on applied issues. At the heart of much resilience research is the desire to uncover salient protective and vulnerability processes that, if targeted in interventions, would substantially improve at-risk children's odds of doing well in life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationResilience and Vulnerability
Subtitle of host publicationAdaptation in the Context of Childhood Adversities
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages41
ISBN (Electronic)9780511615788
ISBN (Print)0521001617, 9780521807012
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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