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Biologically flavored perspectives on Garmezian resilience

  • Daniel R. Hanson (a1) (a2) and Irving I. Gottesman (a2)

Norman Garmezy devoted the better part of four decades developing and promoting the construct of resilience for developmental psychopathology. He proposed resilience as a paradigm to guide the understanding of how people can transcend adversity and go on to live healthy, productive lives. This tribute to Norman starts with a look at the early context for his work during his distinguished tenure in the Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota. Resilience constructs are then compared from interdisciplinary perspectives across a variety of biological and physical sciences. All of these perspectives lead to similar conclusions: resilience is not a thing but a process. Furthermore, the processes are the product of energy-hungry systems. Finally, these insights are applied to difficult to modify maladaptive behaviors raising the question of a dark side to resilience.

Corresponding author
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Daniel R. Hanson, Marshfield Clinic, Riverview Center, 1000 Starr Avenue, Eau Claire, WI 54703; E-mail: or
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Development and Psychopathology
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