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Brody, S. (1994). Overcoming the Odds. High Risk Children from Birth to Adulthood: By Emmy E. Werner and Ruth S. Smith. Ithaca/London: Cornell University Press, 1992. 280 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 63:792-797.

(1994). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 63:792-797

Overcoming the Odds. High Risk Children from Birth to Adulthood: By Emmy E. Werner and Ruth S. Smith. Ithaca/London: Cornell University Press, 1992. 280 pp.

Review by:
Sylvia Brody

This book describes a careful study of the long-term consequences of biological and psychosocial conditions in the first two years of life on later adaptation. The subjects were born in 1955 on Kauai, a Hawaiian island with a low mobile population descended from mainly Asian, Portuguese, and Philippine immigrants. Satisfactory intermarriage, good health care, and community responsibility made for a dependable sample to work with. The subjects were studied at intervals from birth to age 31-32. By the end of that time, most were in full-time employment, were satisfied with their work, and had reached an occupational level above that of their parents. More women than men relied on people for their emotional support, and more men than women were concerned with their careers. They were considered to be "ordinary people" who lived "ordinary lives."

One-third of the 505 subjects available at age 31-32 had been classified in early childhood as being "high risk." Their status in later childhood and adolescence has been told in detail in three previous books.

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