Ann S. Masten

Regents Professor, Irving B. Harris Professor of Child Development, Distinguished McKnight University Professor
Ph.D., 1982, University of Minnesota

Inst Of Child Dev
205 Ch Dev

51 E River Rd

Curriculum Vitae

Competence, risk, and resilience processes in development; Children in war and disaster; Protective influences of relationships, parenting, self-regulation, and motivation; Investing in children globally. 

I study competence, risk, and resilience in development with a focus on the processes leading to positive adaptation and outcomes in young people whose lives are threatened by adversity. This work aims to build a better science for promoting positive adaptation and preventing problems in human development.

I direct the Project Competence Studies of Risk and Resilience, including the Project Competence Longitudinal Study, which has followed a sample of community children and their families for more than 20 years. Our recent research in Minnesota has focused on school success in homeless and other disadvantaged mobile children, in collaboration with partners from the community and university. This program of research includes basic and translational projects aimed at learning what makes a difference for resilience and how to strategically target and time interventions or policies to promote success in disadvantaged children. We have analyzed large-scale administrative data sets and also conducted intensive studies of families residing in emergency shelters for homeless families. Our work is multi-level and multi-disciplinary.

At the national and international level, I work with colleagues in multiple disciplines to understand adaptation and development, particularly in relation to migration, disasters, and war. In Europe, for example, I collaborate with Professor Frosso Motti-Stefanidi at the University of Athens on the Athena Studies of Resilient Adaptation (AStRA), currently focused on acculturation and development in immigrant youth.

I am keenly interested in the integration of resilience theory and findings across disciplines and scale because it is crucial for efforts to address global issues of potentially catastrophic magnitude. Integrated approaches are essential for preparedness and recovery in major disasters, terrorism, and war, and also for building resilience capacity in children, families, and societies around the world.

Just published!

MOOC offered periodically on Coursera

 Resilience in Children Exposed to Trauma, Disaster and War: Global Perspectives


Selected Publications


    Masten, A. S. (2014). Ordinary magic: Resilience in development. New York, NY: Guilford.

    Masten, A. S., Liebkind, K., & Hernandez, D. J. (Eds.). (2012). Realizing the potential of immigrant youth. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.


    Masten, A. S., Narayan, A. J., Silverman, W. K., & Osofsky, J. D. (2015). Children in war and disaster. In R. M. Lerner (Ed.), M. H. Bornstein and T. Leventhal (vol. Eds.), Handbook of child psychology and developmental science. Vol. 4. Ecological settings and processes in developmental systems (7th edition) (pp. 704-745). New York: Wiley.

    Masten, A. S., & Monn, A. R. (2015). Child and family resilience: A call for integrated science, practice, and professional training. Family Relations, 64, 5-21.

    Motti-Stefanidi, F., M., Masten, A. S., & Asendorpf, J. B. (2015).  School engagement trajectories of immigrant youth: Risks and longitudinal interplay with academic success. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 39, 32-42.

    Masten, A. S. (2014). Global perspectives on resilience in children and youth. Child Development, 85, 6-20. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12205 [Available free online.]

    Masten, A. S., Cutuli, J. J., Herbers, J. E., Hinz, E., Obradovic, J., & Wenzel, A. (2014). Academic risk and resilience in the context of homelessness. Child Development Perspectives, 8, 201-206.

    Masten, A. S. (2014). Promoting the capacity for peace in early childhood: Perspectives from research on resilience in children and families. In J. F. Leckman, C. Panter-Brick, & R. Salah (Eds.), Pathways to peace: The transformative power of families and child development (pp. 251-271). Cambridge MA: MIT Press.

    Cutuli, J. J., Desjardins, C. D., Herbers, J. E., Long, J. D., Heistad, D., Chan, C.-K., Hinz, E., & Masten, A. S. (2013). Academic achievement trajectories of homeless and highly mobile students: Resilience in the context of chronic and acute risk. Child Development, 84, 841-857. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12013

    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, NY: Oxford University Press.

    Masten, A. S., Gewirtz, A. H., & Sapienza, J. K. (2013). Resilience in development: The importance of early childhood. In A. S. Masten (topic editor) section on Resilience, in R. E. Tremblay, M. Voivin, & R. DeV. Peters (Eds.), Encyclopedia of early childhood development. [Available free online.]

    Masten, A. S., & Tellegen, A. (2012). Resilience in developmental psychopathology: Contributions of the Project Competence Longitudinal Study. Development and Psychopathology, 24, 345-361. doi: 10.1017/S095457941200003X

    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. doi: 10.3102/0013189X12459883

    Motti-Stefanidi, F., Asendorpf, 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. doi: 10.1017/S0954579412000090

    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. doi: 10.1146/annurev-psych-120710-100356

    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. (2011). Resilience in children threatened by extreme adversity: Frameworks for research, practice, and translational synergy. Development and Psychopathology, 23, 141-154. doi: 10.1017/S0954579411000198

    Masten, A. S., & Cicchetti, D. (Eds.). (2010). Developmental Cascades [two Special Issues], Development and Psychopathology, 22(3, 4), 491-715; 717-783.

    Masten, A. S., & Osofsky, J. (2010). Disasters and their impact on child development: Introduction to the special section. Child Development, 81, 1029-1039. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2010.01452.x

    Updated May 2015