This study examines longitudinal change using a person-centered approach to differentiate patterns of adaptive functioning from adolescence to adulthood. Data are drawn from a 20-year longitudinal study of competence and resilience in the lives of 205 school children (29% minority). Results indicate five distinct pathways of adaptation: (1) low-declining, (2) low-improving, (3) middle-improving, (4) middle-declining, and (5) consistently high. The study also compares the five groups on childhood risks and resources, and on longitudinal assessment of competence and adversity. Interestingly, the most dramatic changes in pathways of adaptation occur during the period of emerging adulthood.