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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Resiliency: Nature or Nurture? Part One

I have always thought about when tough situations arise, are people able to deal them because of an innate trait or learned habit?  Hence the question: Resiliency Nature or Nuture? 

In a study done in 1955, by researchers Emmy Werner (University of California, Davis) and Ruth Smith (licensed psychologist, Kauai) began a longitudinal study that followed all of the children born on the island of Kauai during that year. The studied showed that "found that there were a percentage of children in their sample that faced very adverse conditions as they grew: perinatal stress, chronic poverty, parents who had not graduated from high school, and family environments that were engulfed in the chronic discord of parental alcoholism or mental illness. Many of these children developed serious problems of their own by age 10. However, to the researchers’ surprise, about one-third of the children in adverse situations did very well in their lives. Werner and Smith called them the "vulnerable, but invincible.

Werner and Smith continued the study with the participants until the age of 40 and it revealed that "even more of the high-risk children began to do better as they got older. Werner and Smith found that many of the cohort who experienced difficulties when they were teenagers – delinquencies, mental health problems, pregnancies – had become successful, functioning adults by the time they reached their third and fourth decades."**

It appeared from the research that these participants were not involved with any known psychotherapy to help them guide through these difficult times. 

Score: Nature-1, Nurture-0

Stay tuned for Part Two!

**That quote was from a article on Click for full article called, Learning From Resilient Kids.

Have a splendid madness of a day!(Thursday)

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