Understanding Strengths in Relation to Complex Trauma and Mental Health Symptoms with Child Welfare
Year Published: 2017
Journal of Child and Family Studies
This journal article describes a longitudinal study of the individual strengths of youth, and how these strengths related to complex trauma exposure, traumatic stress symptoms, risk behaviors, and other mental health needs. The study assessed 7,483 children and adolescents as they entered an intensive stabilization program with the Illinois child welfare system. Findings suggest that strengths helped buffer the effect of trauma on a range of traumatic stress and mental health symptoms among youth receiving services through child welfare. The authors suggest that early identification and development of a youth’s strengths can help mitigate risk-taking behaviors and mental health and functional difficulties. They discuss the implications of implementing more targeted trauma-informed care and strengths-based assessment and service planning. (author abstract modified)
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