Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-5d6d958fb5-w6vhv Total loading time: 0.432 Render date: 2022-11-26T12:46:51.500Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "displayNetworkTab": true, "displayNetworkMapGraph": false, "useSa": true } hasContentIssue true

Resilience as a dynamic concept

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 April 2012

Michael Rutter*
Affiliation:
King's College London
*
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Michael Rutter, PO80, MRC Social Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AF, UK; E-mail: michael.rutter@kcl.ac.uk.

Abstract

The concept of resilience has as its starting point the recognition that there is huge heterogeneity in people's responses to all manner of environmental adversities. Resilience is an inference based on evidence that some individuals have a better outcome than others who have experienced a comparable level of adversity; moreover, the negative experience may have either a sensitizing effect or a strengthening “steeling” effect in relation to the response to later stress or adversity. After noting the crucial importance of first testing for the environmental mediation of risk through “natural experiments,” findings are reviewed on “steeling effects” in animal models and humans. Gene–environment interaction findings are considered, and it is noted that there is some evidence that the genetic influences concerns responsivity to all environments and not just bad ones. Life course effects are reviewed in relation to evidence on turning point effects associated with experiences that increase opportunities and enhance coping. Attention is drawn to both research implications and substantive findings as features that foster resilience.

Type
Special Section Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Anthony, E. J. (1974). The syndrome of the psychologically invulnerable child. In Anthony, E. J. & Koupernik, C. (Eds.), The child in his family: Children at psychiatric risk (pp. 529545). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
Anthony, E. J., & Cohler, B. J. (Eds.). (1987). The invulnerable child. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
Bennett, A. J., Lesch, K. P., Heils, A., Long, J. C., Lorenz, J. G., Shoaf, S. E., et al. (2002). Early experience and serotonin transporter gene variation interact to influence primate CNS function. Molecular Psychiatry, 7, 118122.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Belsky, J., & Beaver, K. M. (2011). Cumulative–genetic plasticity, parenting and adolescent self-regulation. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 52, 619626.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Bleuler, M. (1978). The schizophrenic disorders: Long-term patient and family studies. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Bowes, L., Maughan, B., Caspi, A., Moffitt, T. E., & Arseneault, L. (2010). Families promote emotional and behavioural resilience to bullying: Evidence of an environmental effect. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 51, 809817.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Boyce, W. T., & Ellis, B. J. (2005). Biological sensitivity to context: I. An evolutionary–developmental theory of the origins and functions of stress reactivity. Development and Psychopathology, 17, 271301.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
British Academy Working Group Report. (2009). Social science and family policies. London: British Academy Policy Centre.Google Scholar
Caspi, A., Hariri, A. R., Holmes, A., Uher, R., & Moffitt, T. E. (2010). Genetic sensitivity to the environment: The case of the serotonin transporter gene and its implications for studying complex diseases and traits. American Journal of Psychiatry, 167, 509527.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Caspi, A., McClay, J., Moffitt, T. E., Mill, J., Martin, J., Craig, I. W., et al. (2002). Role of genotype in the cycle of violence in maltreated children. Science, 297, 851854.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Caspi, A., Moffitt, T. E., Cannon, M., McClay, J., Murray, R., Harrington, H., et al. (2005). Moderation of the effect of adolescent-onset cannabis use on adult psychosis by a functional polymorphism in the catechol-o-methyltransferase gene: Longitudinal evidence of a gene environment interaction. Biological Psychiatry, 57, 11171127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Caspi, A., Sugden, K., Moffitt, T. E., Taylor, A., Craig, I. W., Harrington, H., et al. (2003). Influence of life stress on depression: Moderation by a polymorphism in the 5-HTT gene. Science, 301, 386389.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Cicchetti, D. (2010). Resilience under conditions of extreme stress: A multilevel perspective. World Psychiatry, 9, 145154.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Costello, E. J., Compton, S. N., Keeler, S. N., & Angold, A. (2003). Relationships between poverty and psychopathology: A natural experiment. Journal of the American Medical Association, 290, 20232029.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Davey Smith, G., & Ebrahim, S. (2003). “Mendelian randomization”: Can genetic epidemiology contribute to understanding environmental determinants of disease? International Journal of Epidemiology, 32, 122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Davey Smith, G., & Ebrahim, S. (2005). What can Mendelian randomization tell us about modifiable behavioural and environmental exposures. British Medical Journal, 330, 10761079.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
D'Onofrio, B. M., Turkheimer, E., Eaves, L. J., Corey, L. A., Berg, K., Solaas, M. H., et al. (2003). The role of the children of Ttwins design in elucidating causal relations between parent characteristics and child outcomes. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 44, 11301144.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
D'Onofrio, B. M., Van Hulle, C. A., Waldman, I. D., Rodgers, J. L., Harden, K. P., Rathouz, P. J., et al. (2008). Smoking during pregnancy and offspring externalizing problems: An exploration of genetic and environmental confounds. Development and Psychopathology, 20, 139164.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Eisenberg, L. (1977). Development as a unifying concept in psychiatry. British Journal of Psychiatry, 131, 225237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Elder, G. H. (1974). Children of the Great Depression. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Ellis, B. J., Boyce, W. T., Belsky, J., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J., & van IJzendoorn, M. H. (2011). Differential susceptibility to the environment: An evolutionary–neurodevelopmental theory. Development and Psychopathology, 23, 728.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fergusson, D. M., &Horwood, L. J. (2003). Resilience to childhood adversity: Results of a 21-year study. In Luthar, S. S. (Ed.), Resilience and vulnerability: Adaptation in the context of childhood adversities (pp. 130155). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fergusson, D. M., Horwood, L. J., & Lynskey, M. T. (1992). Family change, parental discord and early offending. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 33, 10591075.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Garmezy, N. (1974). The study of competence in children at risk for severe psychopathology. In Anthony, E. J. & Koupernik, C. (Eds.), The child in his family: Children at psychiatric risk (Vol. 3, pp. 7797). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
Garmezy, N. (1985). Stress-resistant children: The search for protective factors. In Davids, A. (Ed.), Recent research in developmental psychopathology (pp. 213233). Elmsford, NY: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
Garmezy, N., Masten, A. S., & Tellegen, A. (1984). The study of stress and competence in children: A building block for developmental psychopathology. Child Development, 55, 97111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Glueck, S., & Glueck, E. (1950). Unraveling juvenile delinquency. New York: Commonwealth Fund.Google Scholar
Harris, T., Brown, G. W., & Bifulco, A. (1986). Loss of parent in childhood and adult psychiatric disorder: The role of lack of adequate parental care. Psychological Medicine, 16, 641659.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hauser, S., Allen, J., & Golden, E. (2006). Out of the woods: Tales of resilient teens. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Hariri, A. R. (2011). Neurobiological mechanisms supporting gene–environment interaction effects. In Dodge, K. A. & Rutter, M. (Eds.), Gene–environment interactions in developmental psychopathology (pp. 5970). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
Hariri, A. R., Mattay, V. S., Tessitore, A., Kolachana, B., Fera, F., Goldman, D., et al. (2002). Serotonin transporter genetic variation and the response of the human amygdala. Science, 297, 400403.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hoek, H. W., Brown, A. S., & Susser, E. (1998). The Dutch famine and schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 33, 373379.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Honda, H., Shimizu, Y., & Rutter, M. (2005). No effect of MMR withdrawal on the incidence of autism: A total population study. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 46, 572579.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Jahoda, M. (1959). Current concepts of positive mental health. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
Karg, K., Burmeister, M., Shedden, K., & Sen, S. (2011). The serotonin transporter promoter variant (5-HTTLPR), stress, and depression meta-analysis revisited: Evidence of genetic moderation. Archives of General Psychiatry, 68, 444454.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Keating, D. P. (Ed.). (2011). Nature and nurture in early child development. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Kendler, K. S., & Prescott, C. A. (2006). Genes, environment, and psychopathology: Understanding the causes of psychiatric and substance use disorders. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
Keyes, C. L. M. (2007). Promoting and protecting mental health as flourishing: A complementary strategy for improving national mental health. American Psychologist, 62, 95108.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Laub, J. H., Nagin, D. S., & Sampson, R. J. (1998). Trajectories of change in criminal offending: Good marriages and the desistance process. American Sociological Review, 63, 225238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Laub, J. H., & Sampson, R. J. (2003). Shared beginnings, divergent lives: Delinquent boys to age. 70 Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Layard, R. (2005). Happiness. New York: Penguin Press.Google Scholar
Levine, S., & Mody, T. (2003) The long-term psychobiological consequences of intermittent postnatal separation in the squirrel monkey. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 27, 8389.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Luthar, S. S., & Brown, P. J. (2007). Maximizing resilience through diverse levels of inquiry: Prevailing paradigms, possibilities, and priorities for the future. Development and Psychopathology, 19, 931955.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Lyons, D. M., Buckmaster, P. S., Lee, A. G., Wu, C., Mitra, R., Duffey, L. M., et al. (2010). Stress coping stimulates hippocampal neurogenesis in adult monkeys. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107, 1482314827.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Lyons, D. M., & Parker, K. J. (2007). Stress inoculation-induced indications of resilience in monkeys. Journal of Trauma Stress, 20, 423433.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Lyons, D. M., Parker, K. J., Katz, M., & Schatzberg, A. F. (2009). Developmental cascades linking stress inoculation, arousal regulation, and resilience. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 3, 32.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Maier, S. F., Amat, J., Baratta, M. V., Paul, E., & Watkins, L. R. (2006). Behavioral control, the medial prefrontal cortex, and resilience. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, 8, 397406.Google ScholarPubMed
Masten, A. S., Burt, K. B., Roisman, G. I., Obradović, J., Long, J. D., & Tellegen, A. (2004). Resources and resilience in the transition to adulthood: Continuity and change. Developmental Psychopathology, 6, 10711094.Google Scholar
Masten, A. S., Hubbard, J. J., Gest, S. D., Tellegen, A., Garmezy, N., & Raimerz, M. (1999). Competence in the context of adversity: Pathways to resilience and maladaptation from childhood to late adolescence. Development and Psychopathology, 11, 143169.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Masten, A. S., & Powell, J. L. (2003). A resilience framework for research, policy and practice. In Luthar, S. S. (Ed.), Resilience and vulnerability: Adaptation in the context of childhood adversities (pp. 128). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Masten, A. S., & Tellegen, A. (2012). Resilience in developmental psychopathology: Contributions of the Project Competence Longitudinal Study. Development and Psychopathology, 24, 345361.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Moffitt, T. E., Caspi, A., & Rutter, M. (2005). Strategy for investigating interactions between measured genes and measured environments. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62, 473481.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Mohaupt, S. (2008). Review article: Resilience and social exclusion. Social Policy & Society, 8, 6371.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Obradović, J., Bush, N. R., & Boyce, T. (2011). The interactive effect of marital conflict and stress reactivity on externalizing and internalizing symptoms: The role of laboratory stressors. Development and Psychopathology, 23, 101114.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Parker, K. J., Buckmaster, C. L., Schatzberg, A. F., & Lyons, D. M. (2004). Prospective investigation of stress inoculation in young monkeys. Archives of General Psychiatry, 61, 933941.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Parker, K. J., & Maestripieri, D. (2011). Identifying the key features of early stressful experiences that produce stress vulnerability and resilience in primates. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 35, 14661483.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Pluess, M., & Belsky, J. (2009). Differential susceptibility to rearing experience: The case of childcare. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 50, 396404.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Pluess, M., & Belsky, J. (2011). Prenatal programming of postnatal plasticity? Development and Psychopathology, 23, 2938.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Poulton, R., & Moffitt, T. E. (2008). Is it important to prevent early exposure to drugs and alcohol among adolescents? Psychological Science, 19, 10371044.Google Scholar
Prescott, C. A., & Kendler, K. S. (1999). Age at first drink and risk for alcoholism: A noncausal association. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 23, 101107.Google ScholarPubMed
Quinton, D., & Rutter, M. (1988). Parenting breakdown: The making and breaking of intergenerational links. Aldershot: Avebury.Google Scholar
Rice, F., Harold, G., Boivin, J., Hay, D., van den Bree, M., & Thapar, A. (2009). Disentangling prenatal and inherited influences in humans with an experimental design. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106, 24642467.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Risch, N., Herrell, R., Lehner, T., Liang, K. Y., Eaves, L., Hoh, J., et al. (2009). Interaction between the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR), stressful life events, and risk of depression: A meta-analysis. Journal of the American Medical Association, 301, 24622471.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Rutter, M. (1986). Child psychiatry: The interface between clinical and developmental research. Psychological Medicine, 16, 151169.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Rutter, M. (1987). Psychosocial resilience and protective mechanisms. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 57, 316331.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Rutter, M. (1989). Psychiatric disorder in parents as a risk factor in children. In Shaffer, D., Philips, I., Enver, N., Silverman, M., & Anthony, V. (Eds.), Prevention of psychiatric disorders in child and adolescent: The project of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. OSAP Prevention Monograph 2 (pp. 157189). Rockville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Substance Abuse Prevention.Google Scholar
Rutter, M. (1999). Social context: Meanings, measures and mechanisms. European Review, 7, 139149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rutter, M. (2006). Implications of resilience concepts for scientific understanding. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1094, 112.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Rutter, M. (2007). Proceeding from observed correlation to causal inference: The use of natural experiments. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 2, 377395.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Rutter, M. (2008). Developing concepts in developmental psychopathology. In Hudziak, J. J. (Ed.), Developmental psychopathology and wellness: Genetic and environmental influences (pp. 322). New York: American Psychiatric Publications.Google Scholar
Rutter, M. (2009). Understanding and testing risk mechanisms for mental disorders. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 50, 4452.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Rutter, M. (2010). Gene–environment interplay. Depression & Anxiety, 27, 14.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Rutter, M. (2011). Resilience: Causal pathways and social ecology. In Ungar, M. (Ed.), The social ecology of resilience. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
Rutter, M. (in press-a). The role of science in understanding family troubles. In McCarthy, J. (Ed.), Family troubles? London: Policy Press.Google Scholar
Rutter, M. (in press-b). “Natural experiments” as a means of testing causal inferences. In Barzini, C., Dawid, P., & Bernardinelli, L. (Eds.), Statistical methods in causal inference. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
Rutter, M. (in press-c). Resilience: Clinical implications. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.Google Scholar
Rutter, M., & Garmezy, N. (1983). Developmental psychopathology. In Hetherington, E. M. (Ed.), Mussen's handbook of child psychology: Vol. 4. Socialization, personality, and social development (4th ed., pp. 775911). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
Rutter, M., & Rutter, M. (1992). Developing minds: Challenges and continuity across the life span. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
Rutter, M., & Silberg, J. (2002). Gene–environment interplay in relation to emotional and behavioral disturbance. Annual Review of Psychology, 53, 463490.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Rutter, M., & Sonuga-Barke, E. J. (Eds). (2010). Deprivation-specific psychological patterns: Effects of institutional deprivation. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 75, 1252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rutter, M., Thapar, A., & Pickles, A. (2009). From JAMA: Commentary on paper by Risch et al. (2009). Gene–environment interactions: Biologically valid pathway or artefact? Archives of General Psychiatry, 66, 12871289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sameroff, A., Gutman, L. M., & Peck, S. C. (2003). Adaptation among youth facing multiple risks: Prospective research findings. In Luthar, S. S. (Ed.), Resilience and vulnerability: Adaptation in the context of childhood adversities (pp. 364–391). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Sampson, R. J., & Laub, J. H. (1993). Crime in the making: Pathways and turning points through life. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Sampson, R. J., & Laub, J. H. (1996). Socioeconomic achievement in the life course of disadvantaged men: Military service as a turning point, circa 1940–1965. American Sociological Review, 61, 347367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sampson, R. J., Laub, J. H., & Wimer, C. (2006). Does marriage reduce crime? A counterfactual approach to within-individual causal effects. Criminology, 44, 465508.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Seery, M. D. (2011). Resilience: A silver lining to experiencing adverse life events? Current Directions in Psychological Science, 20, 390394.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Seligman, M. E. P., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction. American Psychology, 55, 514.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Silberg, J. L., & Eaves, L. J. (2004). Analysing the contributions of genes and parent–child interaction to childhood behavioural and emotional problems: A model for the children of twins. Psychological Medicine, 34, 347356.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Silberg, J. L., Maes, H., & Eaves, L. J. (2010). Genetic and environmental influences on the transmission of parental depression to children's depression and conduct disturbance: An extended children of twins study. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 51, 734744.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Stacey, M., Dearden, R., Pill, R., & Robinson, D. (1970). Hospitals, children and their families: The report of a pilot study. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
Stein, Z. A., Susser, M., Saenger, G., & Marolla, F. (1975). Famine and human development: The Dutch hunger winter of 1944–1945. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Thapar, A., Rice, F., Hay, D., Bolvin, J., Langley, K., Van den Bree, M., et al. (2009). Prenatal smoking may not cause ADHD: Evidence from a novel design. Biological Psychiatry, 66, 722727.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Uher, R., Caspi, A., Houts, R., Sugden, K., Williams, B., Poulton, R., et al. (2011). Serotonin transporter gene moderates childhood maltreatment's effects on persistent but not single-episode depression: Replications and implications for resolving inconsistent results. Journal of Affective Disorders. Advance on-line publication.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Uher, R., & McGuffin, P. (2008). The moderation by the serotonin transporter gene of environmental adversity in the aetiology of mental illness: Review and methodological analysis. Molecular Psychiatry, 13, 131146.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Uher, R., & McGuffin, P. (2010). The moderation by the serotonin transporter gene of environmental adversity in the etiology of depression: 2009 update. Molecular Psychiatry, 15, 1822.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
730
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Resilience as a dynamic concept
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Resilience as a dynamic concept
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Resilience as a dynamic concept
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *