This article summarizes the major findings of a longitudinal study that traced the developmental paths of a multiracial cohort of children who had been exposed to perinatal stress, chronic poverty, and a family environment troubled by chronic discord and parental psychopathology. Individuals are members of the Kauai Longitudinal Study, which followed all children born in 1955 on a Hawaiian island from the perinatal period to ages 1, 2, 10, 18, and 32 years. Several clusters of protective factors and processes were identified that enabled most of these high-risk individuals to become competent and caring adults. Implications of the findings for developmental theory and social action programs are discussed, and issues for future research are identified.
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