Background: Childhood maltreatment (CM) can be an impediment to normative development and consistently predicts increased risk for substance misuse and polysubstance use (polySU). Yet, a subset of individuals who experience CM exhibit successful adaptations across the lifespan. Although there is an expansive literature on socioemotional and cognitive protective factors that mitigate impacts of CM, less is known about other, intra-individual resilience-promoting factors (e.g. positive future orientation) known to assuage high-risk SU patterns during adolescence. Method: This study examined heterogeneity in individual-level resilience characteristics in maltreated youth as it related to CM characteristics and SU patterns during adolescence. Participants included maltreated youth from the longitudinal LONGSCAN sample (N = 355; 181 females). Latent Profile Analysis was used to identify subgroups of CM-exposed individuals based on five resilience indicator variables (i.e. commitment to goals, engaging in demanding activities, self-reliance, positive future orientation, and externalizing behaviors). Tests for differences in SU patterns and CM characteristics between the resultant profiles were performed. Results: Data models revealed three latent profiles based on participants’ resilience traits (i.e. Low Resilience, Average Resilience, and High Resilience). There were no profile differences on the basis of CM characteristics. Those in the High Resilience profile were less likely to engage in polySU compared to the Average Resilience profile. Implications: These findings highlight the promise of individual-level resilience factors that are not necessarily dependent upon caregiver or environmental inputs as protective against polySU following CM. This work represents a promising avenue for future preventative intervention efforts targeting emergent SU behaviors in high-risk youth.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)