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Ann Masten, Ph.D.

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Ann Masten, Ph.D.


Dr. Masten is a Distinguished McKnight University Professor of Child Psychology and the Director of Project Competence. She studies risk and resilience in development, with a focus on the processes leading to positive adaptation and outcomes in young people whose development is threatened by adversity. She has studied adaptation in diverse children, adolescents, and young adults, including children who have grown up in ordinary situations in the city or on farms, and children who must overcome extreme threats to development, such as war, disaster, and homelessness. The ultimate objectives of this work are to inform basic science and the policies or programs designed to promote positive development and a better future for children whose lives are threatened by adversity.

Dr. Masten collaborates with colleagues in multiple disciplines to understand human development in relation to migration, natural disasters, and war. She is keenly interested in the integration of resilience theory and findings across disciplines and scale in order to mitigate impact and enhance recovery from major disasters such as hurricanes, flu pandemic, or terrorism. Across her work, Dr. Masten’s focus is on processes that account for positive adaptation in the context of risk, with the ultimate objective of learning how best to promote resilience in human development.

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