Resilience in developing systems: the promise of integrated approaches

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Abstract: This article describes a contemporary systems approach to resilience in human development and its promise for integrating findings and applications across system levels. Resilience is defined as the capacity of a system for successful adaptation to disturbances that threaten system function, viability, or development. Advantages of this definition are delineated in regard to integrating sciences and disciplines across scales and levels of interaction in a bioecological systems framework. Central concepts of resilience, including pathways and cascades, are described in light of this approach, and advances that link system levels are highlighted. Given significant progress toward a more dynamic, integrated, multisystem approach, developmental resilience science stands at new frontier of possibilities that promises to inform science, practice, and policy focused on building human capacity for surviving and thriving in times of turbulence and change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-312
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Journal of Developmental Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 3 2016


  • Developmental resilience science
  • cascades
  • developmental systems
  • life turning points
  • neurobiology of resilience
  • pathways
  • post-traumatic growth


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