Symposium on Children Who Thrive in the Face of Adversity

Psychologists, social workers, educators, and others focused on how to foster resilience in at-risk children.

  • Venue: Center for the Development of Peace and Well-being, Berkeley, CA
  • Date: May 2002

The First Annual Symposium of the UC Berkeley Center for the Development of Peace and Well-Being was held May 3-4, 2002, at the Radisson Hotel in Berkeley, California, next to the scenic San Francisco Bay. In an atmosphere marked by much good humor, somber reflection, and cautious optimism, some 150 psychologists, sociologists, social workers, scholars, therapists, writers, and other interested parties gathered to focus on a single question: What enables some children to thrive in the face of adversity? While no clear answer was forthcoming, several key insights, drawn from diverse research perspectives and findings, were articulated, and many more questions were refined, sharpened, and given renewed focus. While it was clear from the discussion that certain skills seem to enhance resilience in at-risk children, social science has yet to establish how such children are able to develop such skills.