Markers of Resilience and Risk: Adult Lives in a Vulnerable Population


Gralinski-Bakker, H. J., Houser, S. T., Stott, C., Billings, R. L., & Allen, J. P. (2004). Markers of Resilience and Risk: Adult Lives in a Vulnerable Population. Research in Human Development , 1 (4), 291-326.


In this report, we drew on data from an ongoing longitudinal study that began in 1978 (Hauser, Powers, Noam, Jacobson, Weiss, & Folansbee, 1984). Focusing on late, young-adult life among individuals who were psychiatrically hospitalized during adolescence, we examined markers of resilience empirically defined in terms of adult success and well-being. The study includes a demographically similar group recruited from a public high school. Major goals were to (a) develop preliminary models of adaptive functioning among adults in their 30s, (b) examine the extent to which adults with histories of serious mental disorders can be characterized by these models, and (c) explore predictors of successful adult lives from indicators of individuals' psychosocial adjustment at age 25. Results showed significant cohort effects on indexes of adaptive functioning, especially for men. Findings suggest that social relations as well as self-views of competence and relatedness play important roles in characterizing adjustment during the adult years. In addition, indexes of psychosocial adjustment as well as symptoms of psychiatric distress and hard drug use at age 25 made a difference in adult social functioning and well-being, providing hints of possible mechanisms likely to facilitate the ability to “bounce back” after a difficult adolescence.