Why do some children survive very troubled backgrounds without many scars, while others are permanently crippled?

The question is one psychologists at the University of Rochester are beginning to answer as they study highly stressed urban school children.By comparing the characteristics of well and poorly adjusted children, researchers are finding that "survivors" tend to have better opinions of themselves, more ability to empathize with others' problems, more skill at solving social conflicts, and better judgment about which problems they have control over and which they don't.

In the study's next phase, researchers will test how to help stressed children learn these adaptive skills.