Family-, School-, and Neighborhood-Level Predictors of Resilience for Adolescents with a History of Maltreatment

Publication Year


Journal Article

Child maltreatment is a well-known risk factor that threatens the well-being and positive development of adolescents, yet protective factors can help promote resilience amid adversity. The current study sought to identify factors at the family, school, and neighborhood levels associated with resilience outcomes including positive functioning and social skills, among adolescents who have experienced maltreatment. Using longitudinal data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, the analytic sample was limited to 1729 adolescents who experienced maltreatment before age 9. Family-, school-, and neighborhood-level predictors were assessed at age 9, and youth resilience was measured at age 15. We conducted a series of multiple regression analyses to examine multi-level protective factors at age 9 as predictors of positive adolescent functioning and social skills at age 15. The study found that mothers’ involvement was significantly and positively associated with positive adolescent functioning and social skills. Additionally, school connectedness and neighborhood social cohesion were significantly associated with higher levels of adolescent social skills. Our findings suggest that positive environmental contexts such as maternal involvement in parenting, school connectedness, and socially cohesive neighborhoods can serve as important protective factors that promote resilient development among adolescents who have experienced maltreatment as children