Resilient Adaptation in Maltreated Children: Identifying Opportunities for Recourse Following Maltreatment

Presented by:
Carly Jones, Isaiah Mason, and Roy Xiong (Duke University)
Abstract:

Each year within the United States, nearly 700,000 children experience maltreatment. In physical, emotional, social, academic, and economic terms, the cost of child maltreatment is debilitating to its survivors. The study of resilience, or the ability to achieve positive outcomes despite severe adversity, serves as the key to mitigating child maltreatment’s devastation of individuals and its reproduction within communities. Using 2005 data acquired from the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect, the present study inquires: How do the status, severity, and age of onset of maltreatment, as well as individual characteristics of withdrawal, aggression, and likability, correlate with ego-resiliency? We hypothesize that there is a relationship between maltreatment status and ego resiliency; that children who have been more severely maltreated display lower ego resiliency; that later age of maltreatment onset correlates with greater ego resiliency; that ego resiliency is positively correlated with likability; and that ego resiliency is negatively correlated with withdrawal and aggression. Our methodology includes a chi-squared test, Kruskal-Wallis test, two-sample t-tests, and a multiple linear regression. We found that there does exist a relationship between maltreatment status and ego resiliency and that ego resiliency is positively correlated with likability and negatively correlated with withdrawal and aggression. However, there was insufficient evidence to substantiate our hypotheses that greater maltreatment severity and younger age of maltreatment onset are associated with lower ego resiliency. From these findings, we conclude that maltreated children who are perceived as more aggressive, more withdrawn, and less likable should be a foremost target of information.