Promoting resilience in children exposed to intimate partner violence through a developmentally informed intervention: A case study


A significant proportion of children exposed to intimate partner violence (IPV) are preschool-aged, yet few interventions exist for this population. Those interventions that do exist focus primarily on reducing psychopathology, without addressing the range of potential outcomes, including resilient functioning. This case study considers the treatment of Alexis, a 6-year-old, African American girl who was referred for services following exposure to IPV. At her initial intake, she not only showed evidence of posttraumatic stress but also exhibited characteristics of resilient functioning. Over the course of a 10-session group intervention, Alexis's resilient functioning improved, according to both therapist and maternal report. At follow-up, her posttraumatic stress symptoms were below the clinical range, indicating improvement in psychopathology paralleling her increases in resilient functioning. This case lends support for the use of group interventions with young children exposed to violence and also emphasizes the importance of assessing multiple domains of functioning, including resilient behaviors.

Publication Title

Clinical Case Studies