NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ998382
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0145-2134
Finding the Way out: A Non-Dichotomous Understanding of Violence and Depression Resilience of Adolescents Who Are Exposed to Family Violence
Kassis, Wassilis; Artz, Sibylle; Scambor, Christian; Scambor, Elli; Moldenhauer, Stephanie
Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal, v37 n2-3 p181-199 Feb-Mar 2013
Objective: In this cross-sectional study on family violence and resilience in a random sample of 5,149 middle school students with a mean age of 14.5 years from four EU-countries (Austria, Germany, Slovenia, and Spain) we examined the prevalence of exposure to family violence, and we worked from the premise that adolescent can be resilient to family violence. We expanded the definition of resilience to include the absence of both physical aggression and depression symptoms in adolescents who have been exposed to violence in their families and extended our understanding of resilience to include three levels which we describe as: "resilient", "near-resilient" and "non-resilient", thus responding to calls for a more fluid and paths-based understanding of resilience. Methods: Data were collected via self-administered surveys consisting of a number of subscales that investigate depression symptoms and physical aggression. The study was analyzed with a three-stage strategy using logistic regression procedures, in which regression analyses were conducted separately for girls and boys using seven steps for modeling the three resilience levels. Results: More than 30% of our respondents reported experiencing family violence. Contrary to previous research findings, our data showed that structural characteristics like country, gender, socio-economic status and migration status were minimally predictive of violence and depression resilience at any level. Overall, for both sexes, despite some small but significant sex differences, resilience is strongly linked to personal and relational characteristics and the absence of experiences that involved exposure to and direct experiences with violence. Resilience supportive factors confirmed by this study are: higher emotional self-control, talking with parents or friends about violence, seeking help to avoid violence, and not endorsing aggression supportive beliefs. Also key to resilience are irrespective of country, gender, and SES are lower levels of experience with: victimization by boys, engagement in physical altercation with boys, parental abuse, witnessing of physical spousal abuse, exposure to an authoritarian (harsh) parenting style and verbal aggression from teachers. Conclusion: From a content perspective this means that resilience is more than the absence of one or two behavioral factors. This also means that positive changes in resilience levels can be facilitated by supporting constructive personal and social relationships with family members, peers, and teachers. These results are discussed in terms of their practical implications for policy and intervention. (Contains 5 tables.)
Elsevier. 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32887-4800. Tel: 877-839-7126; Tel: 407-345-4020; Fax: 407-363-1354; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Austria; Germany; Slovenia; Spain