Vulnerable but invincible: high-risk children from birth to adulthood

Acta Paediatr Suppl. 1997 Jul;422:103-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.1997.tb18356.x.


This report summarizes the major findings of a 40-year longitudinal study of a multi-racial cohort of children who had been exposed to poverty, perinatal stress, parental psychopathology and family discord. Individuals are members of the Kauai Longitudinal Study, which followed all children born in 1955 on a Hawaiian island from the prenatal period to middle age. Several clusters of protective factors were identified that enabled most of the high-risk individuals to develop into competent, confident and caring adults. Implications of the findings for developmental theory were discussed and issues for future research identified.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Child Abuse / psychology
  • Child Development
  • Family
  • Female
  • Hawaii
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Poverty
  • Psychology, Child*
  • Risk Factors