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31-03-2020 | Empirical Research

Child Maltreatment and Resilience: The Promotive and Protective Role of Future Orientation

Journal of Youth and Adolescence
Zehua Cui, Assaf Oshri, Sihong Liu, Emilie P. Smith, Steven M. Kogan
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Maltreatment is associated with risk for a wide range of socio-emotional and behavioral problems in adolescence. Despite this risk, many maltreated youth adjust well through the process of resilience. Extant research demonstrates that future orientation is linked to reduced risks for maladjustment in adolescence. Few studies, however, have tested the protective and promotive role of future orientation using positive and negative developmental outcomes among maltreated youth. The present study aimed to investigate the promotive and moderating role of future orientation among a longitudinal sample of maltreated and demographically comparable non-maltreated youth (N = 1354, 51.5% female, 53.2% African American). Data collected from Time 1 (Mage = 4.56, SDage = 0.70) to Time 8 (Mage = 18.514, SDage = 0.615) were used. Compared to the non-maltreated youth, maltreated youth showed increased delinquent behaviors and reduced self-esteem. In addition, future orientation significantly predicted higher levels of social competence and attenuated the adverse effects of maltreatment on youth delinquency and substance use. The findings highlight the role of future orientation in the development of resilience among maltreated youth, bearing significant contributions to prevention and intervention programs designed to protect youth against risks linked to child maltreatment and promote their positive development.

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