Threats to development, protective resources, and competence : testing structural models of resilience

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dc.contributor.advisor Dixon, David N. en_US Edwards, Scott A. en_US 2011-06-03T19:25:12Z 2011-06-03T19:25:12Z 2000 en_US 2000
dc.identifier LD2489.Z68 2000 .E39 en_US
dc.description.abstract The interdisciplinary field of developmental psychopathology has brought considerable organization and clarity to the study of resilience, and it was from this theoretical perspective that the present study was conducted. One-hundred and forty-three preschool children, ages four to six, were recruited to answer two primary questions. First, do resilient (high threats, high competence) children differ from their maladapted (high threats, low competence) and competent (low threats, high competence) peers on measures of potential protective resources (i.e., intellectual ability and parent-child relationship)? Second, what are the mechanisms that underlie the effects of threats to development and protective resources on children's emotional and behavioral competence? To test the first question, differences across groups were examined using categorical, person-based analytic procedures (i.e., ANOVA, MANOVA). It was found that the quality of the parent-child relationship among resilient children was indeed more favorable than among maladaptive children, but resilient and competent children did not differ on this dimension. Resilient children produced significantly higher results on nonverbal intellectual reasoning tasks, but were no better than their maladapted counterparts on verbal intellectual abilities. To explore the second question, variable-based analyses (structural equation modeling) were used to test for hypothesized processes underlying the impact that threats and resources have on competence. The results supported the notion of an adversity process in which threats to development directly and unfavorably impacted children's functioning. Mixed support was found for the compensatory process in which resources directly influenced competence in a manner that compensated for the effects of threats. An indirect, compensatory-enhancing processwas supported whereby intellectual resources contributed to improved parent-child relationship which in turn had a positive influence on competence. The most important finding was the adversity-mediating process. This mechanism indicated that threats to development not only directly diminish competence, but also deleteriously impact resource variables. Likewise, this finding suggested that protective resources are essential in buffering children from the consequences of exposure to threats. Specifically, while the quality of the parent-child relationship did not have strong direct influences on competence, it mediated the effects of threats. Implications from these findings for future research and clinical practice are outlined. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Department of Secondary, Higher, and Foundations of Education
dc.format.extent viii, 188 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm. en_US
dc.source Virtual Press en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Resilience (Personality trait) in children -- Testing. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Defense mechanisms (Psychology) in children -- Testing. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Performance in children -- Testing. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Child psychopathology -- Testing. en_US
dc.title Threats to development, protective resources, and competence : testing structural models of resilience en_US
dc.title.alternative Models of resilience en_US Thesis (Ph. D.) en_US
dc.identifier.cardcat-url en_US

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  • Doctoral Dissertations [3134]
    Doctoral dissertations submitted to the Graduate School by Ball State University doctoral candidates in partial fulfillment of degree requirements.

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