A DYNAMIC AND GENDER SENSITIVE UNDERSTANDING OF ADOLESCENTS’ PERSONAL AND SCHOOL RESILIENCE CHARACTERISTICS DESPITE FAMILY VIOLENCE: THE PREDICTIVE POWER OF THE FAMILY VIOLENCE BURDEN LEVEL
In this cross-sectional study on family violence and resilience in a sample of 5,149 middle-school students with a mean age of 14.5 years from four European Union countries (Austria, Germany, Slovenia, and Spain), we worked from the premise that resilience should not be conceptualized as a dichotomous variable. We therefore examined the gender-specific personal and social characteristics of resilience at the three levels “resilient”, “near-resilient”, and “non-resilient”. We also expanded our definition of resilience to include the absence of both externalized and internalized problem behaviours in adolescents who have been exposed to violence in their families. Using multinomial logistic regression we found reliable gender differences in the protective and risk factors between the three resilience levels. We also found that the achieved reliability of our resilience classifications is very high. Our findings suggest that adolescents’ positive adjustment despite family violence is affected only in small part by school characteristics. The co-morbidity of social risks in the family and individual factors explains a much larger part of the variance in the analysis. From a content perspective this means that an individual’s “resilience status” can be influenced in a focused way by moderating the living environment. These results are discussed in terms of their practical implications for policy.
Copyright (c) 2015 Wassilis Kassis, Sibylle Artz, Stephanie Moldenhauer, István Géczy, and Katherine Rossiter
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