Best of the Best: Greater Than the Sum—Multiple Adversities in Children’s Lives, with Dr. Sherry Hamby

Season 2Episode 15August 6, 2020

In this rebroadcast of a popular episode, adversity and even violence are common in children's lives. So how do we help kids thrive?

Greater Than the Sum—Multiple Adversities in Children’s Lives (originally “Mending the Tears of Violence”) is the third in a three-part series of best-of-the-best episodes. Adversity and violence are common in kid’s lives. The cumulative burden creates a lifelong vulnerability to physical and psychological issues. So how do we help kids thrive? What strengths are most important? Sherry Hamby, research professor of psychology at the University of the South, discussed trauma’s cumulative impact and how teachers, parents, and advocates can help kids.


  • Adversity and violence (2:02)
  • Polyvictimization, dose response (7:20)
  • Resilience, polystrengths (12:30)
  • Symptom relief is not well-being (20:39)
  • Important strengths (23:08)
  • Recovering positive affect (30:14)
  • Helping kids (35:30)


Sherry Hamby, Ph.D.,  Life Paths Research Center director and ResilienceCon founder

ACE study

David FinkelhorHeather A. Turner

National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence

Polyvictimization: Children’s Exposure to Multiple Types of Violence, Crime, and Abuse

Juvenile Victimization Questionnaire

Ann S. MastenOrdinary Magic: Resilience in Development

Sense of Purpose—The Most Important Strength?

From Poly-Victimization to Poly-Strengths: Understanding the Web of Violence Can Transform Research on Youth Violence and Illuminate the Path to Prevention and Resilience

Poly-victimization, Trauma, and Resilience: Exploring Strengths That Promote Thriving After Adversity

Health-related quality of life among adolescents as a function of victimization, other adversities, and strengths


Developmental Stage of Onset, Poly-Victimization, and Persistence of Childhood Victimization: Impact on Adult Well-Being in a Rural Community–Based Study


James Pennebaker

Transcript to come.