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Child Abuse Negl. 1995 Sep;19(9):1171-82.

Resilience criteria and factors associated with resilience in sexually abused girls.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA.


Alternative measures of resilience and correlates of resilience were examined in a sample of 43 sexually abused girls who were assessed using a self-administered interview at the time of intake for psychotherapy. Results indicated relatively high levels of disagreement as to which girls were resilient using maintenance of social competence and absence of clinical levels of symptomatology as alternative criteria. Most girls that had maintained age-normative levels of social competence were, nonetheless, manifesting clinically significant levels of symptoms. A warm and supportive relationship with a nonoffending parent was a strong correlate of resilience, regardless of which criteria was used. Lower levels of abuse related stress, fewer negative cognitive appraisals of the abusive relationship, and less reliance on aggressive coping behaviors were also significant predictors of resilience based on the absence of clinical levels of symptomatology. However, parental support and level of abuse stress were the only two variables to enter a logistic regression model predicting resilience. The research and clinical implications of these findings are discussed.

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