168690 Resilience in maltreated youth: Support vs. positive identity

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Desirée A. H. Oliver, PhD, MPH , Center for Family Research, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Ruth P. Saunders, PhD, MPH , Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Robert F. Valois, MS, PhD, MPH , Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Sara Corwin, MPH, PhD , Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Nicholas Cooper-Lewter, PhD, MSW , College of Social Work, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Introduction: Given the multiple risk factors and limited resources that maltreated youth face on a daily basis, the study examined the associations between self-reported substance use behaviors and select protective factors in an effort to identify assets that may be especially effective for maltreated youth in Child Protective Services. Methods: Using secondary data from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-being, a series of logistic regressions and chi-square analyses were used to determine the relationship between four developmental assets and three substance use behaviors among a sample of 1593 adolescents aged 11-18. Results: Maltreated youth with perceived family support were about 15% less likely to have ever used alcohol or tobacco, and 24% less likely to have ever used drugs than those without support of any kind; while those with support from non-parental adults had no significant difference in substance use behaviors. Maltreated youth with more negative self-esteem were about 20% more likely to have ever used alcohol, tobacco, and/or drugs. Having future expectations did not significantly affect the risk of having ever used these substances. Conclusions: Maltreated youth may avoid more risk behaviors if they perceive having family support and have not developed a sense of negative self-esteem. This is especially important when dealing with children who are living with alternative or substitute families while coping with the trauma of abuse.

Learning Objectives:
1. Recognize maltreated youth as an underserved population with unique needs and characteristics. 2. Identify factors that are effective in preventing risk behaviors among maltreated youth. 3. Assess and compare the usefulness of identified assets in preventing specific substance use behaviors.

Keywords: Adolescents, Substance Abuse Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: It is my original work from my doctoral dissertation. I currently work in adolescent risk behavior prevention.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.