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Myths of Childhood by Joel Paris

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4

CHAPTER

Resilience: Surviving a Bad Childhood

image  The Phenomenon of Resilience

For every person we see with childhood adversity, there are many others with the same history who have never come to clinical attention. Some of these individuals may have experienced psychological problems, but most have no symptoms at all. This chapter will explain why only a minority of children exposed to childhood adversities develop pathology later in life.

Resilience refers, literally speaking, to the ability to “bounce back” from the impact of life events. We might think of it as a defense system against psychological injury. Just as immunological mechanisms ...

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