College of Education and Human Development

Institute of Child Development

Ann Masten

  • Regents Professor, Distinguished McKnight University Professor

Ann Masten

Areas of interest

Multisystem resilience; risk and protective processes in children and families in the context of poverty, homelessness, war, and disaster; competence and cascades; developmental psychopathology


PhD, 1982, University of Minnesota


Resilience in developing systems; risk and protective processes in children, families, and communities in the context of poverty, homelessness, war, and disaster; developmental competence and cascades.

Project Competence Research on Risk and Resilience


Project Competence Research on Risk and Resilience


I study risk and resilience in development with a focus on the processes leading to positive adaptation and outcomes in children and families whose lives are threatened by adversity. The goal of my work is inform science, practice, and policy seeking to understand and promote human adaptation and resilience.

I direct the Project Competence Research on Risk and Resilience (PCR3), including studies of normative populations and high-risk young people exposed to homelessness, poverty, war, natural disasters, and migration. Our work is collaborative with community and faculty partners, as well as multi-level and multi-disciplinary.

Our recent research in Minnesota has focused on school success in homeless and other disadvantaged mobile children, with a focus on malleable protective processes, including parenting, self-regulation skills, and housing. Our work includes basic and translational studies aimed at understanding resilience processes and strategies to promote success in disadvantaged children and families. We have analyzed large-scale administrative data sets and also conducted intensive studies of families currently experiencing homelessness. In collaboration with colleagues Andy Barnes, Daniel Berry, Stephanie Carlson, Philip Zelazo, and other partners, we have studied self-regulation, parenting, and sleep as strategic targets for assessment and preventive interventions.

I also co-direct a Grand Challenge project, the Homework Starts with Home Research Partnership, in collaboration with university faculty, students, and centers, working with State partners from Minnesota Housing and the Minnesota Department of Education, and community programs aiming to end student homelessness. We integrate statewide administrative data to provide evidence to guide policy and practice.

At the national and international level, I work with colleagues in multiple disciplines to understand adaptation and development, particularly in relation to migration, disasters, and war. I collaborate with Professor Frosso Motti-Stefanidi on the Athena Studies of Resilient Adaptation (AStRA), currently focused on acculturation and development in immigrant youth in Greece.

I am keenly interested in the integration of resilience theory and findings across disciplines and scale because it is crucial for efforts to address global issues of potentially catastrophic magnitude. Integrated approaches are essential for preparedness and recovery in major disasters, pandemics, terrorism and war, and also for building resilience capacity in children, families, and societies around the world.

Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) offered regularly on Coursera (free)

Resilience in Children Exposed to Trauma, Disaster and War: Global Perspectives

See a preview of this course.

Advising expectations and availability

Please note that Professor Masten has begun a phased retirement and is no longer serving as the primary advisor for new students. However, she continues to be available as a mentor and collaborator with students. Click here to review her perspective on mentoring.

Please note that Dr. Masten is phasing into retirement and therefore no longer serving as a primary advisor to new PhD students, but she continues to consult with students in a co-advising or co-mentoring role.


**Current and *former University of Minnesota students

Masten, A. S., Cicchetti, D., & *Tyrell, F.A. (Eds.) (2023, in press). Resilience in development: Pathways to multisystem integration. Development and Psychopathology. Editorial for special issue.

Prime, H., Walsh, F., & Masten, A. S. (2023). Building family resilience in the wake of a global pandemic. Canadian Psychology, 64(3), 200-211.

Sanson, A., & Masten, A. S. (2023). Climate change and resilience: Developmental science perspectives. International Journal of Behavioral Development.

*Labella, M. L., *Distefano, R., Merrick, J., S., *Ramakrishnan, J. L., *Thibodeau, E. L.,, & Masten, A. S. (2023). Parental affect profiles predict child emotion regulation and classroom adjustment in families experiencing homelessness. Social Development.

Masten, A. S, *Narayan, A. J., & Wright, M. O’D. (2023). Resilience processes in development: Multisystem integration emerging from four waves of research. In S. Goldstein & R. B. Brooks (Eds.), Handbook of resilience in children (3rd ed., pp.19-46). Springer Nature.

*Tyrell, F., & Masten, A. S. (2023). Resilience and coping in development: Pathways to integration. In E. A. Skinner & M. J. Zimmer-Gembeck (Eds.), Handbook on the development of coping. Cambridge University Press.

Masten, A. S., **Nelson, K. M., & **Gillespie, S. (2022). Resilience and student engagement: Promotive and protective processes in schools. In S. L., Christenson, & A. L. Reschley (Eds.), Handbook of research on student engagement (pp. 239-255). Springer. 

**Stallworthy, I. C., & Masten, A. S. (2023). Advancing research on early autism through an integrated risk and resilience perspective. Development and Psychopathology, 35(1), 44-61.

*Palmer, A. R., Piescher, K., Berry, D., Dupuis, D., Hanratty, M., Heinz-Amborn, B., & Masten, A. S. (2023). Homelessness and child protection involvement: Temporal links and risks to student attendance and school mobility. Child Abuse & Neglect, 135,

*Tyrell, F. A., **Lucke, C. M., **Nelson, K. M., & Masten, A. S. (2023). Parent’s ethnic-racial socialization practices in families with young children experiencing homelessness. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 62, 76-88.

**Gillespie, S., *Shiner, R., Masten, A. S., & Motti-Stefanidi, F. (2022). Personality development in immigrant and non-immigrant youth: Disruption or maturation? European Journal of Personality.

Ellis, B. J., Abrams, L. S., Masten, A. S., Sternberg, R. J., Tottenham, N., & Frankenhuis, W. E. (2022). Hidden talents in harsh environments. Development and Psychopathology, 34(1), 95-113.

*Distefano, R., **Nelson, K., & Masten, A. S. (2022). A qualitative analysis of autonomy-supportive parenting in families experiencing homelessness. Family Relations, 71(1), 147-162.

*Palmer, A. R., *Foster, R. A., *Distefano, R., & Masten, A. S. (2022). Emotional reactivity and parenting skills in families experiencing homelessness. Journal of Family Psychology, 36(4), 636-641.

**Lucke, C. M., *Narayan, A. J., *Monn, A. R., & Masten, A. S. (2022). Social support and parenting among mothers experiencing homelessness. Parenting: Science and Practice, 22(4), 277-285.

*Tyrell, F. A., & Masten, A. S. (2022). Father-child attachment in Black families: Risk and protective processes. Attachment & Human Development, 24(3), 274-286).

Oberg, C., **Hodges, H. R., & Masten, A. S., (2022). Cascading consequences of armed conflict and famine on child health: A time for peace. BMJ Paediatrics Open, 6(1), e001608

Masten, A. S., **Lucke, C. M., **Nelson, K. M., & **Stallworthy, I. C. (2021). Resilience in development and psychopathology. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 17, 521-549.

*Narayan, A. J., Lieberman, A. F., & Masten, A. S. (2021). Intergenerational transmission and prevention of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Clinical Psychology Review, 85.

Masten, A. S. (2021). Resilience of children in disasters: A multisystem perspective. International Journal of Psychology,56(1), 1-11.

Updated Oct 2023