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Nurturing Natural Resources: The Ecology of Interpersonal Relationships in Women Who Have Thrived Despite Childhood Maltreatment

Roman, Marian W. PhD, APRN-BC; Hall, Joanne M. PhD, RN, FAAN; Bolton, Kimberly S. PhD, WHCNP

doi: 10.1097/01.ANS.0000334282.96601.82

Childhood maltreatment and its consequences are a public health issue. There continues to be a need for improving the lives and life prospects for survivors of child abuse. The important role that positive interactions can play was evident in a large study of women who considered themselves successful despite maltreatment. Interactions of import ranged from brief encounters with strangers to enduring relationships. Two distinct motifs emerged: The “Saw something in me” and “No matter what” relationships. Findings will be discussed within the context of extant theories with possible implications for researchers, practitioners, and careful, caring adults in any setting.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville (Drs Roman and Hall); and Carson Newman College, Jefferson City, Tennessee (Dr Bolton).

Corresponding Author: Marian W. Roman, PhD, APRN-BC, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996 (

Research described herein was supported by a grant from the National Institute for Nursing Research NRO7789-01: “Women Thriving Abuse Survivors,” with Joanne Hall as the principal investigator. We also acknowledge Tonya Broyles, PhD, for her assistance in early coding of relationships; Cheryl Travis, PhD, for her demographic analysis; and all members of the research team. Deep appreciation goes to the participants, the true experts.

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.