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Overcoming the Odds: High Risk Children from Birth to Adulthood [Paperback]

Emmy Werner , Ruth S Smith
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

February 18, 1992 0801480183 978-0801480188 1
Overcoming the Odds looks closely at the lives of an ethnically diverse group of 505 men and women who were born in 1955 on the Hawaiian island of Kauai and who have been monitored from the prenatal period through early adulthood by psychologists, pediatricians, public health professionals, and social workers. Werner and Smith trace the impact of a variety of biological and psycho-social risk factors and stressful events on the development of these individuals, most of whose parents did not graduate from high school and worked as semiskilled or unskilled laborers. Incorporating vivid case study accounts with statistical analysis, the authors focus on both the vulnerability and the resilience of those who overcame great odds to grow into competent and caring adults. They trace the recovery process through which most of the troubled adolescents in the cohort—those with histories of delinquency, teenage pregnancy, and mental health problems—emerged with improved prospects in their twenties and early thirties. Identifying both the self-righting tendencies that enable high risk children later to adapt successfully to work, marriage, and parenthood, and the conditions under which professional and volunteer care is most beneficial, Werner and Smith offer concrete suggestions for effective intervention policies.

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Overcoming the Odds: High Risk Children from Birth to Adulthood + Journeys from Childhood to Midlife: Risk, Resilience, and Recovery
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Editorial Reviews


"Overcoming the Odds is of interest to researchers, as it documents the ways in which the study itself has grown over time. It is also of great value to educators, counselors, and administrators who take interest in the ways that the subjects of this study have overcome difficulties as children to lead healthy and productive adult lives."—K. G., Harvard Educational Review, Winter 1992

"This fine account of the general course of the lives of high risk subjects who made adequate social adaptations tells the factors that enabled them to win a battle that so many in their socioeconomic strata lose."—Sylvia Brody, New York, The Psychoanalytical Quarterly, Vol. 63, No. 4,

Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press; 1 edition (February 18, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801480183
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801480188
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,211,451 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Factual Data March 26, 2011
By Xocruz
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is excellent as a source for charting the different phases of development. It is very import to understand that the data and history is unique, of which the author has documented wisely.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Many years of data December 23, 2002
The Kauai study of children born in 1955 is famous. These investigators bring to life the enormous amount of data that they have gathered, since that time. They also propose changes in the way we raise our children, based on their data.
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