Psychosocial Risk Trajectories and Beneficial Turning Points

  • Michael Rutter
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 161)


Serious psychosocial adversities in early life may be followed by lasting sequelae or by recovery. Some of the reasons for both persistence and resilience are considered in relation to multiple lasting social disadvantage, rearing by a mentally ill parent, family discord and poor parenting, and an upbringing in an institutional environment. In part the persistence of ill effects is a function of direct and indirect continuities in environmental risk and in part it is the result of changes in the individual. Such changes may come about through the effects of the child’s disturbed behavior on other people and through changes in self-concept and vulnerability to stress. The non-persistence of ill effects may be determined in part by the extent of the initial risk and by the qualities of the individual. However, it is also a consequence of personal turning points in people’s lives when decisions or opportunities may result in a risk trajectory altering in direction onto a more adaptive path. Such turning points are considered in relation to schooling, marriage, army experience, and the process of coping successfully with stress and adversity.


Personality Disorder Adult Life Conduct Disorder Psychosocial Risk Factor Child Psychol 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Rutter
    • 1
  1. 1.MRC Child Psychiatry Unit Institute of PsychiatryLondonUK

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