Profiles of Adjustment in Children and Adolescents Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence: A Scoping Review Investigating Resilience Processes

Abstract

Even though the negative sequelae of childhood exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV) have been largely established empirically, recent person-centered investigations have shown that young people who experience IPV at home represent a heterogeneous population including different subgroups of individuals with distinct profiles of adjustment. This comprehensive scoping review synthesizes and critically analyzes research on profiles of adjustment in children and adolescents exposed to IPV, with an emphasis on resilience profiles and the factors that promoted more positive outcomes. We searched for relevant research studies across five major bibliographic citation electronic databases, as well as reference lists of included articles, key printed journals, and the grey literature. A total of 13 research studies met our inclusion criteria and therefore were included in this scoping review. At least one “resilient profile” of adjustment was consistently identified across studies, which included between 13% and 67% of participants. Resilient profiles were typically characterized by the absence of adjustment problems and high functioning (e.g., high self-esteem, self-efficacy, and constructive problem-solving abilities) among children and adolescents exposed to IPV. All included studies also identified a number of individual-level, family-level, and environmental-level factors that were significantly associated with resilient adjustment among study participants. Based on the results of our review, we offered recommendations for practice, policy, and research.

Keywords

Childhood exposure to intimate partner violence, profiles of adjustment, resilience, scoping review, children and adolescents

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