Profiles and predictors of behavioral resilience among children in child welfare.


Children living in out-of-home care have experienced a multitude of adversities, often resulting in compromised functioning. The current study used Ontario Looking After Children (OnLAC) project data to estimate developmental trajectories of behavioral outcomes (i.e., conduct and emotional problems) over a 4-year period (i.e., ages 6-10 to 9-13) in 313 children living in out-of-home care. Predictors measured at baseline (e.g., sex) and across the subsequent 4-year period (e.g., parenting practices) were also investigated. Findings indicated that 64.2% and 58.6% followed resilient trajectories for conduct behaviors and emotional functioning, respectively. Predictors of resilient trajectories included internal developmental assets, number of children in the home, whether the child was receiving treatment, and positive parenting. Findings need to be interpreted with an understanding that children in out-of-home care have varying levels of functioning across various domains (e.g., educational, social) other than the ones measured here. Predictors were static and dynamic and cut across various contexts, emphasizing the importance of considering child functioning within an ecological model.