The developmental trajectories of behavioral control and resiliency from early childhood to adolescence and their effects on early onset of substance use were examined. Behavioral control is the tendency to express or contain one's impulses and behaviors. Resiliency is the ability to adapt flexibly one's characteristic level of control in response to the environment. Study participants were 514 children of alcoholics and matched controls from a longitudinal community sample (Time 1 age in years: M=4.32, SD=0.89). Children with slower rates of increase in behavioral control were more likely to use alcohol and other drugs in adolescence. Children with higher initial levels of resiliency were less likely to begin using alcohol.