The developmental courses of high-risk and resilient children were analyzed in a follow-up study of members of a 1955 birth cohort on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. Relative impact of risk and protective factors changed at various life phases, with males displaying greater vulnerability than females in their first decade and less during their second; another shift appears under way at the beginning of their fourth decade. Certain protective factors seem to have a more general effect on adaptation than do specific risk factors.