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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 182278 Find in a Library
Title: What the Resilient Child Can Teach Us About Reducing Violence
Journal: Reaching Today's Youth  Volume:4  Issue:2  Dated:Winter 2000  Pages:72-76
Author(s): Jeannine R. Studer
Date Published: 2000
Page Count: 5
Type: Instructional Material
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article identifies and discusses factors that contribute to resilience in children as a framework for demonstrating how mental health professionals can build on strengths in a violence reduction program.
Abstract: There is no single factor that produces a resilient youth; however, multiple protective factors--such as an optimistic temperament, positive social supports, and high self-esteem--can moderate or interact with life's challenges and promote positive outcomes for children of adversity. Resilient youth tend to have a temperament that elicits positive interactions from caregivers early in life and moderates difficulties throughout the lifespan. Conversely, a difficult temperament as an infant is associated with negative affect, difficulty with frustrations, resistance to bonding, and aggression and behavioral problems later in life. Insecure attachment relationships early in life are associated with behavioral problems later in life. A support system can reduce childhood problems and promote competency and resiliency. Resilient children have impulse control and more positive interpersonal relationships than their violent counterparts. They also have a belief in their own self-efficacy, especially as they overcome adverse situations. Children with higher intelligence are better able to cope acceptably with confrontation rather than misinterpreting all interactions as acts of hostility. Empathy--the ability to identify and relate to the emotional state of another--also positively correlates with prosocial behaviors. Resilient youth have an internal locus of control in which they attribute life experiences to their own actions, thoughts, and attitudes. Mental health professionals can promote a peaceful society by identifying, assessing, and intervening with aggressive youth to help them develop resilience and lead healthy lifestyles. Strategies can include behavioral-cognitive approaches, anger reduction approaches, programs that address locus of control, and the provision of social supports. 14 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency prevention
Index Term(s): Juvenile delinquency factors; Violence causes; Violence prevention
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