Caregiver and family factors promoting child resilience in at-risk families living in Lima, Peru

Laura E. Miller-Graff, Caroline R. Scheid, Danice Brown Guzmán, Katherine Grein - Child Abuse & Neglect



Child victimization is one of the most serious, preventable threats to child health and wellbeing around the world. Contemporary research has demonstrated that polyvictimization, or children’s experience of multiple types of victimization, is particularly detrimental.


The current study aims to evaluate relationships between child victimization and child resilience with a particular focus on caregiver and family promotive factors.

Participants and setting

Participants included N = 385 caregiver-child dyads from a high-risk neighborhood in San Juan de Lurigancho district in Lima, Peru.


Data were collected in the context of a representative survey of houses in the neighborhood; an index child (ages 4-17) was randomly selected for each household and caregivers provided reports on core study constructs.


Child victimization (β = .35, p < .001) and harsh punishment (β = .17, p < .001) were associated with higher levels of child adjustment problems. Caregiver depression was associated with both higher adjustment problems (β = .22, p < .001) and higher prosocial skills (β = .14, p = .003). Caregiver resilience was associated with lower adjustment problems (β = -.15, p = .01) and higher prosocial skills (β = .14, p = .04). Positive parenting was associated with lower adjustment problems (β = -.15, p < .001) and higher prosocial skills (β = .20, p < .001). Family cohesion (β = .23, p = .001) was positively associated only with children’s prosocial skills.


Findings suggest that caregiver resilience and positive parenting are consistent promotive factors for child resilience across indicators, including both adjustment problems and prosocial skills. These promotive factors may therefore be promising potential targets address in the context of interventions aimed at promoting child resilience.