Human Development in Context
The Study of Risk and Resilience
Human development takes place through processes of progressively more complex and reciprocal interactions between a growing individual and a changing context. Using evidence from longitudinal data, following individual lives over time, it is possible to gain some insights into how children and their families respond to socio-structural opportunities and constraints and to what extent they are able to respond adaptively and steer the course of their lives despite exposure to adversity. Focusing on the experiences of children and young people growing up in conditions of socio-economic hardship, the book introduces a developmental-contextual approach for the study of resilience, challenging assumptions of necessary developmental constancy, as well as the idea that experiences in early childhood set up an invariant life path. Change for better or worse can occur across the entire life path, shaped by continuous interactions between a developing individual and a changing socio-historical context.