Cultural and Contextual Perspectives on Developmental Risk and Well-Being

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Developmental risk refers to conditions, characteristics, experiences, or situations with potentially deleterious effects that lead to outcomes later in life that do not meet societal expectations. While risk is typically framed as the statistical probability of a problematic outcome in relation to the general population, the converse notion of well-being is considered in relation to the level of functioning at a given developmental stage. The contributors to this volume provide insight into developmental well-being by examining the ways that culture and context affect outcomes associated with various types of risk, such as those related to oppression, academic performance, family background, life history, physical health, and psychiatric conditions. Even though certain outcomes may seem inevitable in cases involving harmful environments, diseases, and disorders, they are virtually all influenced by complex interactions among individuals, their families, communities, and societies.