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Literature suggests that a stronger sense of cultural identity predicts higher levels of resilience following a traumatic event. However, there are limited studies that examine this relationship in children. The present research analyzes the relationship between cultural identity and resilience in a sample of maltreated youth. Participants included youth (n=65) aged 11-17 years in Department of Family Services (DFS) custody following removal from their home after substantiated child maltreatment. Cultural identity and resilience were both assessed by the Nevada Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (NV- CANS). A linear regression indicated a significant predictive relationship between cultural identity and resilience, F (1, 63) = 16.073, p=.001. Results suggest that 20.3% (Adjusted R² = 19.1%) of the variance in resilience could be explained by the variance in cultural identity. Specifically, according to the unstandardized regression coefficients, an increase in cultural identity predicted an increase in resilience (B =.322, SEculturalidentity = 0.08, t = 4.009, p=.001, 95% CI [.161, .482]). Overall, these findings suggest that cultural identity predicts levels of resilience in maltreated youth. This is a critical finding in expanding the literature and improving clinical outcomes, suggesting clinicians should take cultural factors into consideration and work with youth to build cultural support networks and a sense of belonging.

Publication Date

Spring 2021




Child maltreatment; Adolescents; Resilience; Cultural identity


Psychiatry and Psychology

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382 KB


Faculty Mentor: Christopher Kearney, Ph.D.

Cultural Identity Predicts Resilience in Maltreated Youth