Development and Psychopathology

Social Policy Implications of Research in Developmental Psychopathology

The construct of resilience: Implications for interventions and social policies

a1 Teachers College, Columbia University
a2 Mt. Hope Family Center, University of Rochester


The focus of this article is on the interface between research on resilience—a construct representing positive adaptation despite adversity —and the applications of this work to the development of interventions and social policies. Salient defining features of research on resilience are delineated, as are various advantages, limitations, and precautions linked with the application of the resilience framework to developing interventions. For future applied efforts within this tradition, a series of guiding principles are presented along with exemplars of existing programs based on the resilience paradigm. The article concludes with discussions of directions for future work in this area, with emphases on an enhanced interface between science and practice, and a broadened scope of resilience-based interventions in terms of the types of populations, and the types of adjustment domains, that are encompassed.

c1 Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Suniya S. Luthar, Department of uman Development, Teachers College Box 133, Columbia University, 525 West 20th Street, New York, NY 10027-6696.