Ann S. Masten's research while affiliated with University of Minnesota Twin Cities and other places

Publications (229)

Article
This study examined gender and immigrant status differences in stability and change in the Big Five traits in a sample of early adolescents in Greece from economically disadvantaged schools with a high immigrant composition (65% first- or second-generation immigrants). Youth in the sample ( N = 1252, 46% female, ages 12–13 at time 1) self-reported...
Article
Ethnic-racial socialization (ERS) is an important developmental process that may have crucial significance for childrearing in families contending with discrimination or structural inequalities. Although the majority of families who experience homelessness are from historically marginalized populations in the United States, there is a dearth of res...
Article
To date, a deficit-oriented approach dominates autism spectrum disorder (ASD) research, including studies of infant siblings of children with ASD at high risk (HR) for the disabilities associated with this disorder. Despite scientific advances regarding early ASD-related risk, there remains little systematic investigation of positive development, l...
Article
Objective This exploratory qualitative study examined whether parents of young children residing in emergency housing endorse autonomy-supportive parenting values. Background Young children experiencing homelessness are at increased risk for self-regulation difficulties, but one possible way to support self-regulation development during a window o...
Article
Climate change is an existential threat to all of humanity. Its impact on the children of Somalia provides insights into the severity of risks posed by climate change to current and future generations. Globally, there has been a continuous increase in mean annual temperatures since 1991 and scientists anticipate an increase of up to 4.3 degrees Cel...
Article
Executive function (EF) has a critical role in school success, both academic and social-emotional. Nevertheless, there is a lack of evidence on developmentally sensitive measures of EF for young children and on the feasibility of assessing EF for early childhood screening. This study assessed the screening potential of EF tasks, including the Natio...
Article
Articles comprising this special issue on parenting and family dynamics during the COVID-19 pandemic document the profound disruptions to family life posed by a cascading multisystem catastrophe as well as the capacity of families for resilience. Results of these studies during the first year of the pandemic align well with theory and past evidence...
Article
Parents are key protective systems in the lives of children experiencing homelessness. Evidence suggests that parent emotional reactivity, expression, and regulation play a critical role in promoting adaptive parenting behaviors. Studies of emotional reactivity in parents utilize different methods, including self-report, observations, and physiolog...
Article
Theoretical and empirical work on Black fathering has been grounded in a deficit perspective. Scholarship has focused on absenteeism and incarceration of Black fathers, neglecting their positive roles as well as the structural inequalities and challenges Black fathers face. This paper highlights the significance of positive fathering in Black youth...
Article
Articles in this issue provide an overview of the initiative funded by the National Institutes of Health to advance an integrated science approach to basic behavioral and social research on resilience. The goal of the initiative is to elucidate human resilience within a general framework that encompasses a dynamic and multisystem approach, includin...
Article
Resilience science in psychology and related fields emerged from clinical research on risk for psychopathology in the 1970s and matured over the ensuing decades with advances in theory, methods, and knowledge. Definitions and models of resilience shifted to reflect the expanding influence of developmental systems theory and the growing need to inte...
Article
Full-text available
There is a burgeoning literature on autonomy-supportive parenting and positive adaptation in youth across diverse cultures, but little is known about autonomy support in immigrant families. Bolstering autonomy in immigrant youth may be particularly important for their success on both universal and immigrant-specific developmental tasks and yet stud...
Chapter
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This chapter highlights findings from the developmental research on resilience in children and families. From a developmental systems perspective, resilience is defined as the capacity of a dynamic system to adapt successfully to challenges that threaten the function, survival, or development of the system. Principles that inform this perspective a...
Article
The link between self-regulation and academic achievement in young children is well-documented. However, few studies have examined the extent to which different aspects of self-regulation are more important for early numeracy and literacy for those in contexts of high cumulative risk, such as children experiencing homelessness. In the current study...
Article
Research has shown that executive function (EF) skills are associated with resilience in preschoolers experiencing risk and adversity, but these studies have typically relied on large batteries of tasks to measure children’s EF skills. There is a need for brief, reliable EF assessments that can be used in the field with diverse young children. The...
Article
SYNOPSIS Objective . Effective parenting is among the strongest predictors of child resilience, but the stress and adversity associated with homelessness may undermine the capacity of caregivers to parent. To identify malleable factors that could foster resilience in parenting, this study investigated social support in relation to observed parentin...
Article
In recent years, research and practice on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have shifted from delineating effects of ACEs on adulthood health problems to preventing ACEs in children. Nonetheless, little attention has focused on how parents' own childhood experiences, adverse or positive, may influence intergenerational ACEs. Children's risk for...
Article
Extant research is mixed regarding the relations among lifetime exposure to stressors, adrenocortical activity, and executive function (EF), particularly in children. Aggregate measures of adrenocortical activity like hair cortisol concentration (HCC), timing of stress exposure, and age at assessment may clarify these associations. This cross‐secti...
Article
Interest in resilience is surging in research, policy and practice as threats from disasters rise and humanity confronts a global pandemic. This commentary highlights the importance of defining resilience for portability across system levels and disciplines in order to integrate knowledge and prepare adequately for the challenges posed to children...
Preprint
Parenting skills consistently relate to positive adaptation in research on children experiencing homelessness. Emerging evidence suggests that emotional reactivity, expression, and regulation play a critical role in adaptive parenting behaviors. Studies of emotional reactivity in parents utilize different methods, including self-report, observation...
Article
Converging evidence suggests that homeless and highly mobile children in the United States often begin school with limited school readiness skills, such as academic knowledge and socioemotional competencies. Research also indicates that executive function (EF) is foundational to learning and social skills in young children, including those experien...
Article
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Although early-life adversity can undermine healthy development, children growing up in harsh environments may develop intact, or even enhanced , skills for solving problems in high-adversity contexts (i.e., “hidden talents”). Here we situate the hidden talents model within a larger interdisciplinary framework. Summarizing theory and research on hi...
Article
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In the context of rising disasters worldwide and the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, this commentary considers the implications of findings in resilience science on children and youth for disaster preparation and response. The multisystem challenges posed by disasters are illustrated by the COVID-19 pandemic. We discuss the significance of dis...
Chapter
Positive adaptation of immigrant youth in receiving societies is consequential for the well-being of the youth and for the prosperity of the receiving societies. Yet there is significant diversity in the adaptation of immigrant youth. The central question addressed in this chapter is this: “Who among immigrant youth does well and why?” To address t...
Article
This 15-year longitudinal follow-up of a randomized controlled trial of a parenting-focused preventive intervention for divorced families examined cascade models of program effects on offsprings’ competence. It was hypothesized that intervention-induced improvements in parenting would lead to better academic, work, peer, and romantic competence in...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Although many existing measures tabulate specific risk factors to yield cumulative risk indices, there is a need for low-burden strategies to estimate general adversity exposure. Aims and methods: This study introduces a brief, new measure of lifetime adversity, the Child Life Challenges Scale (CLCS), and examines its validity in a s...
Article
Adaptive emotion regulation (ER) in parents has been linked to better parenting quality and social–emotional adjustment in children from middle‐income families. In particular, early childhood may represent a sensitive period in which parenting behaviors and functioning have large effects on child social–emotional adjustment. However, little is know...
Article
Full-text available
Developing the ability to regulate one's emotions in accordance with contextual demands (i.e., emotion regulation) is a central developmental task of early childhood. These processes are supported by the engagement of the autonomic nervous system (ANS), a physiological hub of a vast network tasked with dynamically integrating real-time experiential...
Poster
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Porges (2003) polyvagal theory postulates that parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) functioning plays an important role in emotion regulation and social engagement (Porges, 2003). In particular, PNS regulation may play an important role in the capacity for self-regulation within the context of parent-child interactions (e.g. Denham et al., 2000). F...
Article
This study extends the validity and replicability of the Benevolent Childhood Experiences (BCEs) scale, a novel instrument for adults with childhood adversity. The BCEs scale assesses 10 favorable childhood experiences, yielding a total score similar to the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) scale (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017...
Article
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Advances in developmental resilience science are highlighted with commentary on implications for pediatric systems that aspire to promote healthy development over the life course. Resilience science is surging along with growing concerns about the consequences of adverse childhood experiences on lifelong development. Resilience is defined as the ca...
Article
Growing evidence links adverse childhood experiences to health problems decades later. A study of adults followed in midlife finds that perceived social support predicts lower subsequent mortality, particularly for adults reporting child abuse, suggesting that supportive relationships buffer long-term health in the context of early maltreatment.
Article
Full-text available
Executive function (EF) skills are essential for academic achievement, and poverty-related stress interferes with their development. This pre-test, post-test, follow-up randomized-control trial assessed the impact of an intervention targeting reflection and stress reduction on children's EF skills. Preschool children (N = 218) from schools serving...
Article
Origins and advances in the history of resilience science with children and families are highlighted in this article, with a focus on interconnections and integration. Individual and family resilience scholarship reflect interwoven roots, and there is a growing impetus to integrate knowledge and strategies to inform practice and policies to mitigat...
Article
Background: Poverty has been linked to sleep disruption, which is in turn associated with health and behavior problems. Sleep disturbance may be a key mechanism by which poverty affects child development. Objective: To evaluate the feasibility, appeal, and promise of a brief sleep-promoting intervention for low-income families with 4- to 8-year-...
Article
Full-text available
Children in homeless families have high levels of adversity and are at risk for behavior problems and chronic health conditions, however little is known about the relationship between cognitive-emotional self-regulation and health among school-aged homeless children. Children (n = 86; mean age 10.5) living in shelters were assessed for health, fami...
Article
A multimethod, multi-informant design was used to examine links among sociodemographic risk, family adversity, parenting quality, and child adjustment in families experiencing homelessness. Participants were 245 homeless parents (Mage = 31.0, 63.6% African American) and their 4- to 6-year-old children (48.6% male). Path analyses revealed unique ass...
Article
Recent research confirms that many of the most salient risk and protective factors for the development of aggression and violence reside in the family system. Family-based risks begin before birth, encompassing genetic and epigenetic processes. Contextual stressors (e.g., poverty, conflict) may impact development directly or indirectly through disr...
Chapter
Immigrant youth comprise a sizable and integral part of contemporary societies. Their successful adaptation is a high-stakes issue for them, their families and for society. In spite of the challenges they face, most of them adapt well in their new countries. However, considerable diversity in their adaptation has been reported. This chapter examine...
Article
There is mounting evidence that maternal executive function (EF) plays a critical role in parenting behavior. However, the majority of the research on this topic has been conducted in low-risk samples. The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether individual differences in maternal EF are associated with parenting behavior in the high...
Article
This study examined whether cumulative adversity in adolescence predicted changes in the Big Five traits from childhood to adulthood in the Project Competence Longitudinal Study sample (N=205) followed from childhood (age 10) through adolescence into adulthood (age 30). Personality traits were measured in childhood through multiple methods and in a...
Article
Articles in this timely Special Section represent an important milestone in the developmental science on children and youth involved in political violence and armed conflict. With millions of children worldwide affected by past and present wars and conflicts, there is an urgent and growing need for research to inform efforts to understand, prevent,...
Article
This is a commentary on: Leigh Adams Tucker, Kaymarlin Govender, Caroline Kuo, Marisa Casale and Lucie Cluver. (2016). Child prosociality within HIV-affected contexts: The impact of carer ill-health and orphan status. Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies, 11(4), 352–362. doi: 10.1080/17450128.2016.1226530
Article
This commentary compares the concept of resilience as conceptualized and studied in ambiguous loss and in the broader domain of developmental resilience science. The discussion highlights common roots, similarities and differences in the definitions of resilience and protective processes, and implications for interventions. Resilience concepts in a...
Article
This study tests links between adversity and health problems among children in family emergency housing. Children who experience family homelessness are at risk to also experience high levels of stress, health problems, and need for pediatric care. Understanding the connection between stress and health holds the potential to reduce persistent healt...
Research
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In a list of 17 high-income countries, the United States ranks last in terms of life expectancy for males and second-to-last for females. The U.S. population also experiences worse outcomes compared with its peers in nine key areas: infant mortality and low birth weight; injuries and homicides; adolescent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infectio...
Poster
Exposure to early life adversity has been linked to later psychological and physical problems and risk-taking behavior. Few existing measures of adversity ask about exposure to risk more broadly and generally, however this information is critical to conducting meaningful work in contexts that address risk and protective factors. The purpose of this...
Article
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This cross-sectional study examined, first, whether and how immigrant youth’s personal and family resources account for individual differences in their academic achievement, and second, whether social risks and immigrant status further contribute to academic achievement after controlling for these resources. The sample consisted of 300 middle schoo...
Poster
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This study sought to assess the usability and test-retest reliability of two new iPad- based measures of executive function skills with highly disadvantaged, preschool-aged children. The new measures add a developmental extension (Dext) to the regular NIH Toolbox measures of inhibitory control (Flanker) and cognitive flexibility (Dimensional Change...
Chapter
A core mission of developmental psychopathology is studying the interplay between normal and abnormal developmental processes. Working from this perspective, we review research on associations between competence and psychopathology as divided among three major areas: (1) functional impairment in the context of formal mental disorder classification...
Chapter
This chapter reviews origins and progress in resilience science, with an emphasis on progress over the past decade in theory, findings, and translational applications for strategic intervention. In alignment with prevailing concepts in developmental systems theory, human resilience is defined as the potential or manifested capacity of an individual...
Article
This article describes a contemporary systems approach to resilience in human development and its promise for integrating findings and applications across system levels. Resilience is defined as the capacity of a system for successful adaptation to disturbances that threaten system function, viability, or development. Advantages of this definition...
Article
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School shootings tear the fabric of society. In the wake of a school shooting, parents, pediatricians, policymakers, politicians, and the public search for "the" cause of the shooting. But there is no single cause. The causes of school shootings are extremely complex. After the Sandy Hook Elementary School rampage shooting in Newtown, Connecticut,...
Article
Despite the expanding research on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and corpus of studies on intergenerational maltreatment in high-risk families, studies have not examined intergenerational ACEs more broadly, much less in severely disadvantaged families. This study investigated the intergenerational continuity of ACEs in mothers and young child...
Article
The current study aimed to describe the prevalence of children of incarcerated parents (COIP) in a sample of homeless/highly mobile children, examine the relationship between parental incarceration and other risk factors, and investigate the effect of parental incarceration on child academic and mental health outcomes. The authors compared COIP (n...
Chapter
This chapter provides an overview of key resilience concepts, controversies, and perspectives. It delineates a variety of types of research models that examine resilience processes over time, including person-focused, variable-focused, and hybrid models focused on understanding developmental pathways and trajectories. The importance of qualitative...
Article
This study examined associations among family-level risks, emotional climate, and child adjustment in families experiencing homelessness. Emotional climate, an indirect aspect of emotion socialization, was indexed by parents’ expressed emotion while describing their children. Sociodemographic risk and parent internalizing distress were hypothesized...
Chapter
Positive psychology emphasizes the study of human strength and virtue to understand and facilitate positive developmental outcomes. A resilience framework offers a powerful tool for realizing the goals of positive psychology in contexts of adversity. This chapter takes stock of recent advances in resilience-based practice, focussing on expanding th...
Article
Full-text available
We examined behavioral school engagement trajectories of immigrant and non-immigrant early adolescents in relation to their academic achievement. Data were based on teacher judgments and school records. Students from immigrant families living i n Greece and their nonimmigrant classmates (N ¼ 1057) were assessed over the three years of middle school...
Article
Homelessness among children in poverty continues to confront schools, educators, and policymakers with major challenges. This commentary summarizes findings from 2 decades of research on academic risk and resilience in children experiencing homelessness. Recent research corroborates the early conclusion that although children experiencing homelessn...
Article
Science and practice focused on child resilience and family resilience have deep and intertwined roots, yet there have been surprisingly few efforts to systematically integrate the theory, findings, and implications of these two traditions of work. In this article, the authors discuss parallels in concepts and processes that link the sciences of ch...
Chapter
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This chapter focuses on children’s capacity to create, maintain, and restore harmonious and equitable relationships with others. Obstacles and catalysts for healthy human development are identified, as are the competencies required for children to engage in harmonious and equitable relationships. Sustainable peace in a society requires a “systems a...
Article
Family homelessness in the United States has increased over the past two decades, raising concerns about associated risks for child development. In this article, we describe a translational research program focused on academic risk and resilience in homeless and highly mobile children. We find that although these children share many risk factors wi...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, inspired by the plenary panel at the 2013 meeting of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, Dr. Steven Southwick (chair) and multidisciplinary panelists Drs. George Bonanno, Ann Masten, Catherine Panter-Brick, and Rachel Yehuda tackle some of the most pressing current questions in the field of resilience research inc...
Article
The role of effective parenting in promoting child executive functioning and school success was examined among 138 children (age 4 to 6 years) staying in family emergency shelters the summer before kindergarten or 1st grade. Parent-child coregulation, which refers to relationship processes wherein parents guide and respond to the behavior of their...
Conference Paper
Executive function (EF), which has been linked to a host of positive outcomes including social competence and academic success, also predicts academic achievement in homeless/highly mobile (HHM) children. The malleability of EF, demonstrated by training studies, further supports targeting these skills in intervention efforts to improve school readi...
Article
Background: Children who experience homelessness have elevated rates of asthma, a risk factor for other problems. Purpose. Examine rates of asthma and its relation to health care use and adaptive functioning among young children staying in family emergency shelters. Methods: Children and caregivers (N = 138) completed assessments in shelters, in...
Article
Positive youth development (PYD) and resilience science differ in emphasis and focus but share many roots, assumptions, concepts, and goals. Both frameworks are grounded in developmental systems theory, both are focused on positive adaptation, and both are translational, sharing a common goal of promoting positive development. Yet there also are di...
Chapter
Resilience is a dynamic, multifaceted, and inferential concept that refers generally to the capacity of a system for successful adaptation in the context of significant adversity or challenges. In human development, positive adaptation can be defined broadly in terms of function in many domains (e.g., doing well in all the ways expected for a perso...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined risk, vulnerability, and protective processes of parental expressed emotion for children's peer relationships in families living in emergency shelters with high rates of exposure to parental violence (EPV). Parental criticism and negativity were hypothesized to exacerbate the association between EPV and poorer peer relations, wh...
Article
Global concerns about the consequences of disasters, political violence, disease, malnutrition, maltreatment, and other threats to human development and well-being have sparked a surge of international interest in resilience science. This article highlights progress and issues in research that aims to understand variations in human adaptation to ad...
Article
La transición desde la adolescencia a la edad adulta es una de las etapas más importantes del curso de la vida. Rindfuss, Swicegood y Rosenfeld (1987) se han referido a ella como un período "demográficamente denso", debido a que comporta transformaciones en las principales trayectorias vitales, incluyendo los ámbitos de la educación, el trabajo, la...
Article
The wellbeing of military children and families in the United States has far-reaching significance for the nation as a whole, in addition to its importance for military capabilities and individual service members and their families. The articles in this issue underscore this message as they update what we know and what we need to know about the cha...
Article
This commentary highlights conceptual themes in the opening section of this special issue on military families in relation to a new synthesis of developmental systems theory that emerged from developmental, ecological, and family systems theory, as well as developmental psychopathology and risk/resilience frameworks. Articles in this special issue...