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Family Resilience

Resilience involves dynamic processes fostering positive adaptation in the context of significant adversity. The concept of resilience has come to the forefront in mental health and developmental science and practice over recent decades, largely focused on resilience in individuals. Studies of those who overcame harsh childhood conditions initially focused on personal traits or on constitutional hardiness. With expanded research, an interactive perspective emerged, recognizing that the impact of risk conditions or traumatic experiences could be outweighed by resilience-promoting variables in the family and social context. Notable for individuals’ resilience is the crucial influence of supportive relationships, especially the role of models, and mentors (e.g., grandparents, coaches, or teachers) who believe in their worth and potential and encourage them to make the most of their lives.

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