HDFS 434 - Risk and Resilience Across the Lifespan

  • 3 credits
View available sections

This course focuses on why some individuals are at high risk for poor developmental outcomes, and why certain individuals fare well despite such risks or adversities. The course has a strong developmental emphasis because resilience is viewed as a process, the results of which may not be manifest for years, that is in reference to stage-related outcomes or competencies. There is an ecological emphasis because protective and vulnerability factors often reside in families, schools, neighborhoods, and communities.

Course Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the key concepts and principles of resilience theory and practice in human development and family studies.
  • Evaluate divergent views on the definition and operationalization of resilience.
  • Explain risk and protective factors at each stage of development from birth to late adulthood.
  • Describe personal attributes that influence the odds of resilient functioning.
  • Explain how the contexts in which individuals are embedded may shape their adaptation to adversity.
  • Explain resilience as involving mutually beneficial, reciprocally influential relations between a person and his or her context.
  • Evaluate interventions and policies with and on behalf of children, adolescents, adults, families, and communities from a resilience framework.
  • Exhibit effective written communication skills related to risk and resilience across the lifespan.

This course has exams that require the use of electronic proctoring through ProctorU. Please see https://www.proctoru.com/students. for detailed instructions. The cost for online proctoring through ProctorU is included in the cost of the course for students enrolled in CSU Online course sections. Students are responsible for purchasing any hardware that may be needed for exams taken with ProctorU, including a webcam and microphone, and for scheduling proctoring appointments at least three days in advance (otherwise, a late fee is charged, which is the student’s responsibility). For students requiring accommodations, please contact http://www.rds.colostate.edu/.

This course can be applied toward:


HDFS 310 (Infant and Child Development in Context), may be taken concurrently and HDFS 311 (Adolescent/Early Adult Development in Context), may be taken concurrently; completion of 60 credits.

Important Information

All prerequisites must be completed or consent from the instructor given prior to enrollment.

If you register for this course after the start of the term, please contact the instructor at the time of registration. By contacting the instructor, you ensure you are added to the CANVAS section as soon as possible and have access to the course and details about the class requirements.

Textbooks and Materials

Textbooks and materials can be purchased at the CSU Bookstore unless otherwise indicated.


  • Ordinary Magic (2014)
    Masten, Ann S.
    ISBN: 978-1462523719
  • Resilience in Children, Families, and Communities: Linking Context to Policy and Practice (2005)
    Peters, D. R., Leadbeater, B., & McMahon, R. J. (Eds.)
    ISBN: 978-0-387-23824-1

NOTE: The E-book version of both textbooks is available for free download through Morgan Library.


Aimee Kleisner Walker
Aimee Kleisner Walker

(970) 491-3971 | aimee.walker@colostate.edu

Aimée Kleisner Walker is a member of our HDFS teaching faculty and is the coordinator of HDFS graduate programs. Dr. Walker teaches both online and on-campus across the lifespan. Her research interests include early prevention and family support programs that address inequities among developmental opportunities; early childhood education, school readiness; pedagogy in applied human sciences; parenting across the lifespan; parenting education; and using advanced person- and variable-centered methodologies to inform intervention/prevention science.

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