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Resilient Posttraumatic Adjustment in Childhood and Beyond

Studies of resilient adjustment in childhood began more than three decades ago with the pioneering work of Norman Garmezy, Michael Rutter, Emmy Werner, and others. Early studies examined positive adjustment in the context of risk and adversity and often used the terms resilience and stress resistance interchangeably. More recently, theorists have distinguished these terms and their referents. Stress resistance describes the ability to maintain functional homeostasis despite ongoing major stressors (such as poverty or family discord), whereas resilience refers to successful recovery following acute traumatic events (such as maltreatment or disasters). In other words, resilience refers to the ability to rebound from significant setbacks, whereas stress resistance means the ability to resist psychosocial perturbation. The general use of the term resilience persists, however, to describe ...

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