12Family Resilience to Promote Positive Child Development, Strong and Flexible Families, and Intergenerational Vitality

Sharon Landesman Ramey, Robin Gaines Lanzi, and Craig T. Ramey

Family resilience is a psychological construct that encompasses many dimensions of how families function (Black and Lobo, 2008; Luthar, 2006; Masten and Obradovic, 2006; McCubbin and Patterson, 1983; McCubbin, McCubbin, Thompson, Han, and Allen, 1997). The essence of resilience is that families have a repertoire of approaches to help them survive – and even benefit from – the ebb and flow of challenges they encounter. The construct of resilience is strongly linked to the field of positive psychology (e.g., Seligman, Steen, Park, and Peterson, 2005) and to understanding the biosocial nature of human development itself (e.g., Wilson, 1979, 2012). In times of duress, families demonstrate their resilience; in times of calm, families ...

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