Resilience in Science and Practice: Pathways to the Future
Ann S. Masten, PhD

Thursday, March 18, 2021, 10:00 - 11:15 am ET

Dr. Masten will highlight recent advances in theory and research on resilience in human development, with reflections on early lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic. Resilience science emerged when researchers and practitioners recognized variation in the adjustment and outcomes of individuals believed to be at risk for psychopathology. From the outset, resilience research had translational goals. recognizing the power of intervention students to test evolving hypotheses about the processes that support adaptation in the context of adversity. In contemporary transdisciplinary theory, resilience is defined as the capacity of a system to adapt successfully to challenges that threaten the function, survival, or development of the system. This definition is intentionally scalable across levels of analysis and portable across disciplines.  

Individual resilience is distributed across multiple systems, drawing on interconnected processes within the organism as well as relationships with other people and interactions with socioecological systems. Resilience is dynamic and multisystemic, changing with interactions of systems within and between the individual and context. This perspective on resilience has gained salience for multiple reasons, including the infusion of systems theory into development psychopathology and the necessity of integrating knowledge on resilience from different disciplines to address mass-trauma threats such as COVID, disasters, or war. Dr. Masten will highlight the alignment of findings in research on resilience in individuals, families, and communities, the transdiagnostic significance of protective processes, and implications of multisystem models for practice and policy. Exciting new directions for integrated research and practice bridging levels of analysis, systems, and disciplines will be discussed.

Learning Objectives

  1. Define resilience from a contemporary systems perspective for scalability and collaboration across disciplines
  2. Delineate a resilience framework and strategies for promoting resilience in practice and policy
  3. Describe new directions of multisystem translational research on resilience

Ann S. Masten Biography 

Ann S. Masten, Ph.D., is Regents Professor of Child Development at the University of Minnesota. She studies resilience and the processes that promote competence, mitigate risk, and prevent problems in human development. Professor Masten directs the Project Competence research on risk and resilience, including studies of young people exposed to homelessness, war, natural disasters, and migration. She is a past-president of the Society for Research in Child Development and the developmental division (7) of the American Psychological Association. In 2014, she received the Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Contributions to Developmental Psychology from the American Psychological Association and published her book, Ordinary Magic: Resilience in Development. She teaches a MOOC on Coursera about “Resilience in Children Exposed to Trauma, Disaster and War: Global Perspectives.”

Friday Morning Keynote

Resilience to Adversity and the Origins of Disease
Gene Howard Brody, PhD

Friday, March 19, 2021, 10:00 - 11:15 am ET

Session description and learning objectives coming soon.


Gene Howard Brody Biography

Gene Howard Brody is Distinguished Research Professor of Human Development and Family Science in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Georgia, where he has taught since 1976. He is also the founder and director of the University of Georgia's Center for Family Research and a part-time research professor in the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. He is known for his research on the physiological and biological effects of psychological stress, poverty, and discrimination. 


Welcome Reception and Partner Solutions Hall supported by Rogers Behavioral Health.