Child maltreatment increases the risk of poor developmental outcomes. However, some children display resilience, meaning they are high-functioning despite their adverse experiences. To date, few research studies have examined protective factors among very young maltreated children. Yet, domains of resilience, and the protective factors that promote resilience among maltreated children, are likely to differ by developmental stage. Drawing on ecological systems theory and life course theory, we examined how protective factors at multiple ecological levels across early childhood were related to social and cognitive resilience among very young children involved with child protective services. The results demonstrated that the buffering effects of protective factors varied by social or cognitive resilience and the cumulative effects of protective factors were more consistently related to later resilience than protective factors at specific time points. In addition, the influence of specific protective factors on resilience slightly varied by initial in-home or out-of-home placement. These findings have important policy and research implications for promoting optimal development among children involved in child protective services.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health