Factors that inhibit and promote resilience following childhood maltreatment: A qualitative exploration of practitioner perspectives

Rebecca Dillard, Brieanne Beaujolais, Susan Yoon, Xiafei Wang, Karla Shockley McCarthy, Fei Pei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The negative impacts of childhood maltreatment are vast and span multiple domains. Recently, studies have examined the characteristics of maltreated children who exhibit a lack of negative outcomes; in other words, children who displayed resilience. Though resilience has become a more prevalent topic, the perspectives of practitioners working with children following maltreatment have been inadequately represented. The purpose of the current study was to explore the perspectives of practitioners working with maltreated children to better understand the factors that promote and inhibit resilience. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were completed with practitioners who provide services to maltreated children (N = 27). After audio-recording and professional transcription, the research team engaged in a process of thematic coding and analysis, with collaborative theme development. Study codes yielded two primary themes relating to factors that inhibit or promote resilience among maltreated children. Internal factors referred to characteristics of the individual child that could influence their likelihood of displaying resilience. External factors referred to context and circumstances outside of the child that can impact the development and display of resilience. Practitioners understood resilience as the interaction of internal and external factors which influence the degree to which children display resilience following maltreatment. The findings help to incorporate practitioner perspectives into current conceptualizations of resilience. This study carries implications for increased reliance on translational research in the resilience field, reflecting the perspectives and needs of direct service providers. Further, the results help us to better understand how practitioner perspectives shape the interventions they deliver to build resilience capacity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105895
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd


  • Child maltreatment
  • Practitioners
  • Qualitative
  • Resilience
  • Thematic analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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