Risk and Protective Factors
for Behavior Problems in Youth
• There is a link between risk and protective factors and youth problem behavior. Youth high in risk or low in protection are more likely to engage in problem behaviors. Risk and protective factors are indicators of future youth problem behavior.
• Risk factors are predictive of higher levels of adolescent substance abuse, delinquency, teen pregnancy, school drop-out and violence.
• Protective factors buffer young people’s exposure to risk.
• There are four main areas that risk and protective factors exist in an individual’s life; home, school, community, and within the peer/individual domain.
• While risk factors may be unavoidable, protective factors can be enhanced or built in to an individual’s life.
• Protective Factors include:
• Individual Factors
• Belief in Self
• Connection with one caring adult
• Resilient temperament/competencies
• Prosocial orientation
• Sense of Humor
• Family Factors
• Positive parenting strategies
• Parental emotional stability
• Economic stability
• School Factors
• Clear rules and regulations
• Competent role models
• Opportunities for connections with students
• Reinforcement of social competencies
• High expectations for all students
• Community Factors
• Clear norms
• Intergenerational ties
• External support systems