Two trends have shown tremendous promise in increasing our understanding of children's exposure to violence (CEV) and improving our capacity to prevent CEV and intervene more effectively when it does occur: poly-victimization and resilience. Poly-victimization research has been greatly furthered by the development of a comprehensive instrument, the Juvenile Victimization Questionnaire, developed by our team. However, no comparable instrument exists for resilience. This study will develop the Resilience Portfolio Questionnaire that will include a comprehensive assessment of key resilience strengths across all layers of the social ecology. This study will be accomplished through a community-research partnership between the National Children's Advocacy Center, the Life Paths Appalachian Research Center, and the University of New Hampshire. Our mixed-methods design consists of two key phases. Phase 1 involves a conceptual and development process for developing measures to test newly identified elements of our theoretical model. This will build on the Life Paths project to further develop and adapt measures for protective factors and resilient outcomes, such as characteristics of peers and schools beyond social support and sense of community, the importance of family well-being in addition to personal well-being for children, the ways that children use interpersonal and meaning making strengths to reinforce self-regulation, and the need for more behavioral measures of most constructs. We will also explore the role of more minor adversities in developing resilience and post-traumatic growth. The new items will be reviewed by violence and child development specialists, focus groups of parents and teens, and administered in an in-depth cognitive version to youth (ages 10 to 17) in order to determine the appropriateness of its language and content. Phase 2 will involve a community study of 500 children (ages 10 to 17) and parents in parent-child pairs. Grounded theory analysis will be used to interpret the qualitative data and psychometric analyses, including correlation, factor analysis, regression and structural equation modeling will be used to validate the questionnaire and identify the most important protective factors. Products will include an archived dataset, interim and final reports, at least 4 peer-reviewed journal articles, at least 4 conference presentations, and shorter summaries of key findings prepared for the general public that we will make available on our websites.
Note: This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law.