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Home    >    Risk and Resilience in Childhood, 2nd Edition
Risk and Resilience in Childhood, 2nd Edition
An Ecological Perspective
Mark W. Fraser, Editor
ISBN: 978-0-87101-356-9. 2004. Item #3568. 296 pages.

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Literature is replete with stories of children who recover against impossible odds. No less dramatic are real-life accounts in social work case files. But why are some children so resilient when others are not How can social work practice appropriate these positive forces on behalf of more children.

Risk and Resilience in Childhood: An Ecological Perspective, 2nd Edition, takes a major leap forward from other social work texts to probe not only risk but resilience and the protective factors that promote positive developmental outcomes. Firmly research based, it bridges the gap between ecological theory and strengths-based practice and provides a foundation for developing case-specific interventions.

Building on the concepts and models articulated so expertly in the best-selling first edition, the authors of Risk and Resilience, 2nd Edition, introduce a framework and interdisciplinary language for understanding and conceptualizing social and health problems of children and their families. Readers will easily draw implications for practice from its clear and organized presentation. Using an ecological and multisystems perspective, each chapter examines risk and protective factors for specific social problems and disorders in childhood, including drug abuse, school failure, adolescent pregnancy, and delinquency. Risk and Resilience, 2nd Edition, is a compelling and rich resource for practitioners, scholars, and educators.

Special Features

  • Summarizes and distills for social work practice the latest research on risk factors for childhood problems.

  • Devotes a full chapter to suicidal behaviors among youth.

  • Describes how to tailor interventions on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation.

List of Tables and Figures

Chapter 1: The Ecology of Childhood: A Multisystems Perspective
Mark W. Fraser

Chapter 2: Risk and Resilience in Childhood
Mark W. Fraser, Laura D. Kirby, and Paul R. Smokowski

Chapter 3: Methods in the Analysis of Risk and Protective Factors: Lessons from Epidemiology
James K. Nash and Karen A. Randolph

Chapter 4: Child Maltreatment: A Risk and Protective Factor Perspective
Barbara Thomlison

Chapter 5: School Failure: An Eco-Interactional Development Perspective
Jack M. Richman, Gary L. Bowen, and Michael E. Woolley

Chapter 6: Developmental Vulnerability in Young Children with Disabilities
Irene Nathan Zipper and Rune J. Simeonsson

Chapter 7: Risk and Protective Factors for Alcohol and Other Drug Use in Childhood and Adolescence
Jeffrey M. Jenson

Chapter 8: Risk and Protective Factors in the Development of Delinquency and Conduct Disorder
James Herbert Williams, Charles D. Ayers, Richard A. Van Dorn, and Michael W. Arthur

Chapter 9: Preventing Sexually Transmitted Infections among Adolescents
Kathleen A. Rounds

Chapter 10: Risk and Protective Factors for Adolescent Pregnancy: Bases for Effective Intervention
Cynthia Franklin, Jacqueline Corcoran, and Mary Beth Harris

Chapter 11: Childhood Depression: A Risk Factor Perpective
M. Carlean Gilbert

Chapter 12: Suicidality among Youths
Mark J. Macgowan

Chapter 13: Risk and Resilience in Childhood: Toward an Evidence-Based Model of Practice
Mark W. Fraser and Maeda J. Galinsky

About the Editor
About the Contributors
Mark W. Fraser, MSW, PhD, holds the John A. Tate Distinguished Professorship for Children in Need at the School of Social Work, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He directs the Making Choices Project, a school-based prevention program focused on third-grade children and their families in ethnically diverse and rapidly growing communities. This project has two components: (1) the development of a social problem-solving curriculum focused on children’s skills in processing social information and regulating emotions and (2) the development of a set of parent workshops designed to promote academic achievement and reduce aggressive behavior in third-grade children. Dr. Fraser is also the editor of the NASW Practice Resources Series. He has written numerous chapters and articles on risk and resilience, child behavior, child and family services, and research methods. With colleagues, he is the coauthor or editor of five books that include Families in Crisis, a study of intensive family-centered services, and Evaluating Family-Based Services, a text on methods for family research. In Making Choices, Dr. Fraser and his coauthors outline a program to help children build enduring social relationships with peers and adults. In The Context of Youth Violence, he and his colleagues explore violence from the perspective of resilience, risk, and protection. His most recent book is Intervention with Children and Adolescents: An Interdisciplinary Perspective.
Mark Fraser’s second edition of Risk and Resilience in Childhood makes a significant contribution to the literature that will help to shape the future of social work practice. Without compromising the consistency between chapters that was present in the first edition, this updated and expanded volume advances the ecological perspective by a muli-systemic view that increases our understanding of the development of children and youth. With a more fully explicated theoretical framework, a greater emphasis on the measurement of risk and protective factors, significant consideration paid to the importance of gender, race, and other differences in developmental theory, and more systematic attention paid to the design and implementation of effective interventions, this new edition of a social work classic is critical reading for those concerned with building strengths-based models of assessment and intervention and furthering the development of evidence-based practice.

William Meezan, DSW, ACSW
Marion Elizabeth Blue Professor of Children and Families, School of Social Work
University of Michigan


In producing the second edition of Risk and Resilience in Childhood, Mark Fraser assembled a superb group of contributing scholars to address the most vexing challenges to quality of life for children in the United States. The chapters clearly and succinctly delineate national trends, assess pertinent risk and protective factors, review the pros and cons of various assessment methods, and synthesize what is know about the most effective programs for prevention and intervention. The chapters’ critical assessment of age, gender, race, and ethnic differences in risk and protective factors will help social workers tailor services to client and practice diversity. The book will facilitate the use of solid evidence in establishing service priorities and shaping service delivery, and thus marks an important contribution to evidence-based social work practice.

Enola K. Proctor, PhD
Frank J. Bruno Professor of Social Work Research, George Warren Brown School of Social Work
Washington University


Risk and Resilience in Childhood: An Ecological Perspective, 2nd Edition is a veritable "who’s who" and "what’s what" in social work research on children at risk. Drawing upon the latest data on children living in poverty in the United States, this far-fetching book blends ecological and systems theories within a risk and resilience perspective. Each chapter develops this theme and presents up-to-date findings as well as implications for practice for a variety of problems ranging from failure to substance abuse to suicide. In this era of evidence-based practice, Fraser and his co-contributors go beyond lip service to provide an encyclopedic overview that will benefit practitioners, researchers, and children’s advocates for years to come.

Deborah K. Padgett, Phd, MPH
Professor, School of Social Work
New York University