The goal of this research program is to identify individual and environmental qualities related to competence and resilience in children exposed to normative and nonnormative stressors. The proposed study aims to examine the continuity and correlates of adaptation in a community sample of children from middle childhood to late adolescence by integrating two comprehensive sets of data spanning 10 years. The study began with an urban sample of 205 school children in 3rd to 6th grade recruited in two waves in 1977/78 and 1978/79. Extensive data were collected about their competence, behavior problems, personal attributes, family resources, and stress exposure. In 1985, after 7 years, a two-stage follow-up study was initiated. In Stage 1, questionnaire data were collected by mail from mothers and adolescents, with 88% participating. With additional funding in 1987, a more intensive follow-up was undertaken, including semi-structured interviews of adolescents and mothers, laboratory assessments of adolescents' cognitive abilities as well as self-report measures of competence, mood, personality, life events, and symptoms, and ratings by mothers and peers of the adolescents' competence. On the basis of our recruiting success thus far, we expect to have nearly complete data sets across the 10-year span for at least 75% of the sample. The proposed study will focus on data reduction and integrative analyses to address major hypotheses about the relation of competence, psychopathology, risk stressors, and protective factors over a time period of great significance for the newly emerging science of developmental psychopathology. Children with many resources and/or who manifest competence in middle childhood are expected to be resilient in the face of the normative challenges and unexpected life stressors of adolescence. Children with few resources are expected to have difficulty, partly because they have fewer resources to meet the challenges of adolescence, but also due to their elevated risk for stressful life experiences, and the consequences of maladaptation in middle childhood. Results of this study may offer valuable clues to improved intervention strategies for preventing or ameliorating behavior orders in adolescence.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
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Life Course and Prevention Research Review Committee (LCR)
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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Schools of Arts and Sciences
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Shiner, Rebecca L; Masten, Ann S (2012) Childhood personality as a harbinger of competence and resilience in adulthood. Dev Psychopathol 24:507-28
Masten, Ann S; Desjardins, Christopher David; McCormick, Christopher M et al. (2010) The significance of childhood competence and problems for adult success in work: a developmental cascade analysis. Dev Psychopathol 22:679-94
Obradovic, Jelena; Burt, Keith B; Masten, Ann S (2010) Testing a dual cascade model linking competence and symptoms over 20 years from childhood to adulthood. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol 39:90-102
Shaffer, Anne; Burt, Keith B; Obradovic, Jelena et al. (2009) Intergenerational continuity in parenting quality: the mediating role of social competence. Dev Psychol 45:1227-40
Burt, Keith B; Obradovic, Jelena; Long, Jeffrey D et al. (2008) The interplay of social competence and psychopathology over 20 years: testing transactional and cascade models. Child Dev 79:359-74
Masten, Ann S; Roisman, Glenn I; Long, Jeffrey D et al. (2005) Developmental cascades: linking academic achievement and externalizing and internalizing symptoms over 20 years. Dev Psychol 41:733-46
Roisman, Glenn I; Masten, Ann S; Coatsworth, J Douglas et al. (2004) Salient and emerging developmental tasks in the transition to adulthood. Child Dev 75:123-33
Masten, Ann S; Burt, Keith B; Roisman, Glenn I et al. (2004) Resources and resilience in the transition to adulthood: continuity and change. Dev Psychopathol 16:1071-94
Shiner, Rebecca L; Masten, Ann S; Roberts, Jennifer M (2003) Childhood personality foreshadows adult personality and life outcomes two decades later. J Pers 71:1145-70
Shiner, Rebecca L; Masten, Ann S; Tellegen, Auke (2002) A developmental perspective on personality in emerging adulthood: childhood antecedents and concurrent adaptation. J Pers Soc Psychol 83:1165-77

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