He also discusses the theme of resilience and finds that creative people come from either fairly disruptive families with death of significant people. They overcame difficult childhoods. However, equal number of children came from parents who were artists, professionals, and who supported them. Thus, creativity does not necessarily spring from trauma or upper middle class backgrounds.
Interesingly, "normal" families do not produce highly creative children and people. Part of this may be due to not stretching and challenging their children's (or their own!) vistas and horizons. It is not so much an issue of social or economic background but is connected to what Selligman in his book Flourish refers to as Grit. So, he challenges parents to stretch themselves a bit for the sake of their children.
In his book Flow, he writes that there are 5 conditions that support the development of creativity:
1. Clarity: Teenagers feel that they know what is expected of them. Goals and feedback are unambiguous.
2. Centering: The young people feel that their parent or care giver is interested in what they are doing in the present moment, in their concrete experience. They are not so preoccupied with what college their child will get in to or obtaining a well paying job.
3. Choice: Youth feel that they have a great deal of choice, including breaking the parents' rule provided they take the consequences.
4. Commitment: Trust that allows the youth to to feel comfortable bough to set aside the shield of his or her defensiveness and become unselfconsciously involved in whatever he or she is interested in.
5. Challenge: The adults in the child's life prove increasingly complex opportunities for action for their children.