The Relationship Between Protective Factors and Outcomes for Children Exposed to Violence
Published in: Violence and Victims, v. 28, no. 4, Aug. 2013, p. 697-714
Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2013
To develop prevention and intervention programs for children exposed to violence, it is necessary to understand what factors might help alleviate the negative effects of violence exposure. In this study, we sought to test whether relationships exist between certain protective factors and subsequent adjustment and to examine whether violence re-exposure contributed to changes in outcomes over time. The analyses revealed that caregiver reports of both child self-control and the quality of the parent-child relationship were related to changes in child posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and behavior problems. Furthermore, children experiencing more categories of violence re-exposure had increased behavior problems at follow-up compared to those without re-exposure. These findings advance our understanding of the relationship between these protective factors and outcomes for children exposed to violence and suggest that intervening to bolster these protective factors could improve outcomes.