Ann S. Masten
Irving B. Harris Professor of Child Psychology
Ph.D., 1982, University of Minnesota
Inst Of Child Dev
205 Ch Dev
51 E River Rd
Competence, risk, and resilience in development.
Competence, risk, and resilience in development.
I study competence, risk and resilience in human development, with a focus on the processes leading to positive adaptation and outcomes in young people whose lives are threatened by adversity. In collaboration with many terrific colleagues and students, I have studied adaptation in diverse populations of young people and their families, including normative school children, low-income and homeless families, immigrants and refugees, war survivors and victims of natural disaster. The ultimate goals of this work are building a better science for promoting positive development and resilience, preventing psychopathology, and facilitating recovery.
My recent research in the Twin Cities is focused on understanding and promoting school success in homeless and highly mobile children, collaborating with a team of committed partners from school districts, shelters, county and community agencies, as well as the university. This program of research includes basic and translational projects, with a focus on protective systems that are strongly implicated as important for resilience and also malleable with strategic intervention. To study the big picture, we analyze district-level school data sets, examining longitudinal patterns over time linking mobility, poverty, achievement and behavior. Concomitantly, we conduct more intensive studies of families residing in emergency shelters to understand and promote resilience. We currently focus on cognitive and social-emotional skills required for self-regulation in children, parenting skills, and stress response systems in families, all of which appear to play a powerful role in the well-being and success of children in school. Our work is multi-level and multi-disciplinary.
I direct the Project Competence studies of risk and resilience, which include a longitudinal study of 205 children and their families recruited from an urban school district and followed for more than 20 years. Publications from this study span many topics, including the development of competence and personality, developmental cascades, the role of protective factors in resilience, the roots of adult happiness and civic engagement, and other themes. We learned that youth who overcome childhood adversity and continue on to adult success have more protections and resources in their lives than peers who do not fare as well. We also observed “late bloomers” whose lives took a dramatic turn for the better in the transition to adulthood, suggesting that new resources, opportunities, and supports converge in this window to promote positive change.
At the national and international level, I collaborate with colleagues in multiple disciplines to understand adaptation and development in relation to migration, disasters, and war. I collaborate with European colleagues in the Athena Studies of Resilient Adaptation (AStRA), which is led by Professor Frosso Motti-Stefanidi at the University of Athens. Our current focus is the adaptation of immigrant youth, and the ways in which development, acculturation, and adaptation are intertwined in the lives of these young people.
I am keenly interested in the integration of resilience theory and findings across disciplines and scale. It is essential to integrate the multiple sciences on resilience in order to effectively address global issues of potentially catastrophic magnitude, including preparation and recovery from major disasters, terrorism or war, and building capacity for human resilience in children, families, and societies around the world.
Masten, A. S. (2013). Risk and resilience in development. In P. D. Zelazo (Ed.), Oxford handbook of developmental psychology. Vol 2. Self and other (pp. 579-607). New York: Oxford University Press.
Masten, A. S., Liebkind, K., & Hernandez, D. J. (Eds.). (2012). Realizing the potential of immigrant youth. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Masten, A. S. (2012). Resilience in children: Vintage Rutter and beyond. In A. Slater & P. Quinn (Eds.), Developmental psychology: revisiting the classic studies (pp. 204-221). London: Sage.
Cutuli, J. J., Desjardins, C. D., Herbers, J. E., Long, J. D., Heistad, D., Chan, C.-K., Hinz, E., & Masten, A. S. (published online 2012, in press). Academic achievement trajectories of homeless and highly mobile students: Resilience in the context of chronic and acute risk. Child Development.
Masten, A. S. (2012). Risk and resilience in the educational success of homeless and highly mobile children: Introduction to the special section. Educational Researcher, 41, 363-365.
Herbers, J. E., Cutuli, J. J., Supkoff, L. M., Heistad, D., Chann, C.-K., Hinz, E., & Masten, A. S. (2012). Early reading skills and academic achievement trajectories of students facing poverty, homelessness, and high residential mobility. Educational Researcher, 41, 366-374.
Masten, A. S., Herbers, J. E., Desjardins, C. D., Cutuli, J. J., McCormick, C. M., Sapienza, J. K., Long, J. D., & Zelazo, P. D. (2012). Executive function skills and school success in young children experiencing homelessness. Educational Researcher, 41, 375-384.
Masten, A. S., & Tellegen, A. (2012). Resilience in developmental psychopathology: Contributions of the Project Competence Longitudinal Study. Development and Psychopathology, 24, 345-361.
Motti-Stefanidi, F., Asendorf, J. B., & Masten, A. S. (2012). The adaptation and well-being of adolescent immigrant in Greek schools: A multilevel, longitudinal study of risks and resources. Development and Psychopathology, 24, 451-573.
Shiner, R., & Masten, A. S. (2012). Childhood personality traits as a harbinger of competence and resilience in adulthood. Development and Psychopathology, 24, 507-528.
Masten, A. S., & Narayan, A. J. (2012). Child development in the context of disaster, war and terrorism: Pathways of risk and resilience. Annual Review of Psychology, 63, 227-257.
Sapienza, J. K., & Masten, A. S. (2011). Understanding and promoting resilience in children and youth. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 24, 267-273.
Masten, A. S. (2011). Resilience in children threatened by extreme adversity: Frameworks for research, practice, and translational synergy. Development and Psychopathology, 23, 141-154.
Masten, A. S., & Osofsky, J. (2010). Disasters and their impact on child development: Introduction to the special section. Child Development, 81, 1029-1039.
Masten, A. S., & Cicchetti, D. (Eds.) (2010). Developmental Cascades [Special Issue, Parts 1 and 2], Development and Psychopathology, 22(3), 491-715; 717-983.
Updated April 2013