Resilience in physically abused children: Protective factors for aggression

Megan R. Holmes, Susan Yoon, Laura A. Voith, Julia M. Kobulsky, Stacey Steigerwald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

Aggression continues to be a serious problem among children, especially those children who have experienced adverse life events such as maltreatment. However, there are many maltreated children who show resilient functioning. This study investigated potential protective factors (i.e., child prosocial skills, child internalizing well-being, and caregiver well-being) that promoted positive adaptation and increased the likelihood of a child engaging in the healthy, normative range of aggressive behavior, despite experiencing physical maltreatment. Logistic regression analyses were conducted using two waves of data from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW-I). Children who were physically maltreated were more likely to exhibit clinical levels of aggressive behavior at Time 1 than children who were not physically maltreated. Children’s internalizing well-being, children’s prosocial behavior, and caregivers’ well-being were associated with lower likelihood of clinical levels of aggressive behavior at Time 1. Children’s internalizing well-being and children’s prosocial behavior remained significantly associated with nonclinical aggression 18 months later. These findings highlight the role of protective factors in fostering positive and adaptive behaviors in maltreated children. Interventions focusing on preventing early aggression and reinforcing child prosocial skills, child internalizing well-being, and caregiver well-being may be promising in promoting healthy positive behavioral adjustment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-189
Number of pages14
JournalBehavioral Sciences
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This document includes data from the National Survey on Child and Adolescent Well-Being, which was developed under contract with the Administration on Children, Youth, and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (ACYF/DHHS). The data were provided by the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Keywords

  • Aggression
  • Child physical abuse
  • Longitudinal
  • Prosocial behavior
  • Resilience
  • Well-being

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Resilience in physically abused children: Protective factors for aggression'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this