Resilience is a descriptive name given to unexpectedly positive outcomes in the face of negative predictors for child development. The unexpectedness of the outcomes appears to have influenced at least three of the major researchers in the field. While tracking children of drug-addicted women in London, Michael Rutter is reported to have doubted his study when he found that at least one-fourth of the children seemed healthy and capable. When Norman Garmezy studied the children of severely depressed women and found that some of the children seemed healthy, he also doubted his own diagnosis of the mothers. Other re search of pathologies led him in the direction of studying the attributes of competence in children. Yet another researcher drawn into the ''why not'' question was Emmy Werner, known for her longitudinal study of native Hawaiians born in 1955. The study originally focused on the vulnerability of children exposed to several serious risk factors. When one-third of the children successfully coped with the risk factors, however, she changed the focus to look at the roots of resiliency.

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