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Child Abuse Negl. 2017 Nov;73:30-41. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2017.09.021. Epub 2017 Sep 21.

Children's resilience and trauma-specific cognitive behavioral therapy: Comparing resilience as an outcome, a trait, and a process.

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St. John's University, 8000 Utopia Pkwy, Jamaica, NY 11439, United States. Electronic address:
St. John's University, 8000 Utopia Pkwy, Jamaica, NY 11439, United States.


Resilience, which is associated with relatively positive outcomes following negative life experiences, is an important research target in the field of child maltreatment (Luthar et al., 2000). The extant literature contains multiple conceptualizations of resilience, which hinders development in research and clinical utility. Three models emerge from the literature: resilience as an immediate outcome (i.e., behavioral or symptom response), resilience as a trait, and resilience as a dynamic process. The current study compared these models in youth undergoing trauma-specific cognitive behavioral therapy. Results provide the most support for resilience as a process, in which increase in resilience preceded associated decrease in posttraumatic stress and depressive symptoms. There was partial support for resilience conceptualized as an outcome, and minimal support for resilience as a trait. Results of the models are compared and discussed in the context of existing literature and in light of potential clinical implications for maltreated youth seeking treatment.


Maltreatment; PTSD; Resilience; Trauma-specific CBT

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