Prevention approaches to enhance resilience among high-risk youth: comments on the papers of Dishion & Connell and Greenberg

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2006 Dec;1094:151-63. doi: 10.1196/annals.1376.014.


This article synthesizes research on resilience theory and its implications for prevention interventions to increase resilience in high-risk children and adolescents. In addition, this response to both the articles by Drs. Greenberg and Dishion summarizes their key points. Their papers discuss the neuroscience substrate behind two major mediators of antisocial behaviors, namely lack of self-regulation and executive function problems. In addition, we present an overall Resilience Framework that will help the reader organize the aspects of resilience discussed by these two researchers into a transactional process model. This article extends prior researchers' suggestion that resilience is the product of the interaction of genetic, biological, and environmental precursors to a further consideration of higher-level cognitive precursors, such as purpose in life and existential meaning. The relevance of resilience to the prevention of negative outcomes in high-risk children of alcoholics (COAs) and substance abusers is covered. Within this third wave of resilience research on prevention interventions, we present data suggesting that family strengthening approaches have the greatest impact on increasing resilience.

Publication types

  • Comment
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Conduct Disorder / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors