Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 36, Issue 6, pp 887–901 | Cite as

Protective Factors and the Development of Resilience in the Context of Neighborhood Disadvantage



The purpose of the present study was to examine relations among multiple child and family protective factors, neighborhood disadvantage, and positive social adjustment in a sample of 226 urban, low SES boys followed from infancy to early adolescence. The results indicated that child IQ, nurturant parenting, and parent–child relationship quality, measured in early childhood, were all significantly associated with a composite measure tapping low levels of antisocial behavior and high levels of social skills at ages 11 and 12. Parental romantic partner relationship quality (RPRQ) was only significantly related to positive social adjustment in the context of low levels of neighborhood disadvantage. Results suggest that with the exception of RPRQ, these protective factors operate in a comparable manner with respect to positive social adjustment for this predominantly low-income urban sample of boys.


Resilience Neighborhood disadvantage Protective factors Low-income families 



This research was supported by grants awarded to the second author from the National Institute of Mental Health (MH50907 and MH01666). The authors would like to thank Susan B. Campbell, Mark T. Greenberg, Robert McCall, Jennifer Silk, Emily Skuban, and Chris Trentacosta for their comments on earlier versions of this article; Bobby Jones and JeeWon Cheong for their statistical consultation; Emily B. Winslow and Madeleine Root for their help in collecting census data; and finally the research assistants and families of the Pitt Mother and Child Project who made this possible.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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