Resiliency Factors Among Youth

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The psychological outcomes of children who experience adverse life events can include critical developmental impairments such as adopting maladaptive coping skills, conforming behaviors according to the behaviors of others, inappropriately responding to social cues, and even becoming perpetrators of the same maltreatment that was committed against them as children. Under similar circumstances, studies have found that some children do not display such patterns; these children are capable of resisting the temptations of associating with delinquent social groups and demonstrate resilient characteristics such as impulse control, strong problem-solving and socialization skills, and provide themselves with an abundance of supportive resources that assist in their recovery. Utilizing a case study design in which a triangulation of three sources was gathered, the common characteristics among adolescent youth who appeared to be resilient towards an adverse life event(s) was evaluated. First, a 25 item Likert-type survey was administered to assess the participants’ initial responses to questions about resiliency factors. Then, semi-structured interviews were conducted with a set of five open-ended questions. Finally, a journal was given to each participant and the participants were prompted to answer four open-ended questions. All three sources of information were analyzed and coded for themes between each participant’s written, verbal, and survey responses in order to categorize the key elements. This study was able to identify common characteristics amongst adolescents who showed resilience after adverse life events. It was found that psychological treatment was extremely beneficial to an adolescent youth’s psychological healing and increased his or her chances of obtaining resilience towards adversity compared to those who did not.
A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology
Cognitive Psychology, Behavioral Psychology