Child Maltreatment and High Risk Families

By Julie Taylor; Anne Lazenbatt | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 5
Protective factors and resilience:
increasing emotional well-being

Introduction

This chapter deals with the concepts of protective factors and resilience and how they can affect and increase childhood well-being, especially emotional well-being. In recent years there has been much focus on understanding the factors that help some children grow up to be healthy and well-functioning adults despite having to overcome various forms of adversity such as abuse and neglect. Such successful development under high risk conditions is known as resilience and much research (e.g. the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study) (Dube et al., 2001) has been conducted on identifying protective factors and processes that might account for children’s successful outcomes, especially their emotional well-being. The chapter further argues that there is no single path to resilience, because the risks and protective factors have diverse impacts at different developmental stages (Masten, 2012). Moreover, while some children may appear resilient in terms of their behaviour, it has been noted that they may still experience internal distress or suffer significant deficits in one aspect of life (e.g. emotional functioning), while displaying adaptive functioning in other aspects (e.g. academic achievement). The chapter concludes with a discussion of how supportive family functioning and good parenting can increase resilience and allow the development of emotional well-being.

Resilience is the process of harnessing biological, psychosocial,
structural, and cultural resources to sustain well-being (Panter-
Brick and Leckman, 2013)
.

-67-

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