Promoting Resilience in Children and Youth: Preventive Interventions and Their Interface with Neuroscience

Prevention Research Center, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 4.38). 01/2007; 1094(1):139-50. DOI: 10.1196/annals.1376.013
Source: PubMed


Preventive interventions focus on reducing risk and promoting protective factors in the child as well as their cultural ecologies (family, classroom, school, peer groups, neighborhood, etc). By improving competencies in both the child and their contexts many of these interventions promote resilience. Although there are now a substantial number of preventive interventions that reduce problem behaviors and build competencies across childhood and adolescence, there has been little integration with recent findings in neuropsychology and neuroscience. This article focuses on the integration of prevention research and neuroscience in the context of interventions that promote resilience by improving the executive functions (EF); inhibitory control, planning, and problem solving skills, emotional regulation, and attentional capacities of children and youth. Illustrations are drawn from recent randomized controlled trials of the Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS) curriculum. The discussion focuses on the next steps in transdisciplinary research in prevention and social neuroscience.

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    • "For instance, intelligence and problem solving abilities bring certain advantages for youth exposed to adversity (Fergusson & Lynskey, 1996; Herrenkohl, et al., 1994; Kandel et al., 1988; Masten et al., 1988; Seifer, Sameroff, et al., 1992). Factors and attributes such as the meaning children attribute to various risks as well as personality, temperament and behaviour (for example, novelty seeking, self esteem and neuroticism) and capacity to deal with challenges have also been noted as bringing advantages for youth exposed to adversity (Edwards, et al., 2005; Fergusson & Horwood 2003; Greenberg, 2006; Haeffel & Grigorenko, 2007; Hjemdal, et al., 2007; Luthar, 1991; Tremblay, 2005; Werner & Smith, 1982; Werner, 1989; Wyman, et al., 1991). In this regard, two routes have been proposed by which personality factors either bolster resilience or increase susceptibility to risk. "
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    DESCRIPTION: This paper explores the development of ideas concerning how children who are exposed to risk and adversity can achieve good outcomes. It considers the contribution which developments in the concept of resilience have made to the knowledge base as well as developments in our understanding of the role of service systems in supporting children and youth to overcome challenges confronted on the pathway to adulthood.
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    • "Is improved family functioning subsequent to adversity due to more effective regulation ? As Greenberg ( 2006 ) noted , many preventive inter - ventions focus on promoting processes related to executive function , which involves various forms of regulation such as inhibition , conse - quential thinking , problem - solving skills , and goal - directed behavior . At the level of family interactions , other regulatory skills that might be taught include conscious control of emo - tions and responses ( Cummings & Schatz , 2012 ; Diamond & Aspinwall , 2003 ) and repairs in dyadic interactions , both of which are related to abuse potential ( Skowron , Kozlowski , & Pin - cus , 2010 ) and the effects of marital conflict on children ( Cummings et al . "
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    ABSTRACT: Resilience can be defined as establishing equilibrium subsequent to disturbances to a system caused by significant adversity. When families experience adversity or transitions, multiple regulatory processes may be involved in establishing equilibrium, including adaptability, regulation of negative affect, and effective problem-solving skills. The authors’ resilience-as-regulation perspective integrates insights about the regulation of individual development with processes that regulate family systems. This middle-range theory of family resilience focuses on regulatory processes across levels that are involved in adaptation: whole-family systems such as routines and sense of coherence; coregulation of dyads involving emotion regulation, structuring, and reciprocal influences between social partners; and individual self-regulation. Insights about resilience-as regulation are then applied to family-strengthening interventions that are designed to promote adaptation to adversity. Unresolved issues are discussed in relation to resilience-as-regulation in families, in particular how risk exposure is assessed, interrelations among family regulatory mechanisms, and how families scaffold the development of children’s resilience.
    Family Relations 02/2015; 64:153-175. DOI:10.1111/fare.12100 · 0.68 Impact Factor
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    • "An intervention targeting the control of impulsive behavior may be a more effective intervention for juvenile offenders than imprisonment or probation . The Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies ( PATHS ) curriculum is one approach used to change impulse control among youth with deficiencies in executive functioning ( Greenberg , 2006 ) . The PATHS curriculum is a pre - ventive neuroscience - based intervention that seeks to change cognitive pro - cesses related to inhibitory control , planning , problem solving , and emotional regulation . "
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    ABSTRACT: Little is known about what factors contribute to African American youth desisting from offending. Participants were 3,230 moderate- to high risk adolescents from Washington State who completed a statewide risk assessment to assess the likelihood of recidivism. Participants were screened by juvenile probation officers between 2003 and 2010. Researchers investigated whether youth possessed protective factors and whether developmental change took place after contact with the juvenile justice system. It was hypothesized that having protective factors would decrease the likelihood of recidivism and the impact of each factor would differ by gender. Findings indicate African American youth have protective factors across a range of domains. However, little developmental change occurs after contact with the juvenile justice system. Impulse control, parental supervision, and pro-social peers were important for reducing recidivism. Problem solving was more influential for African American males, while impulse control and parental supervision were more influential for African American females. Implications for practice and policy are discussed.
    Youth &amp Society 09/2014; DOI:10.1177/0044118X14551322 · 1.82 Impact Factor
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