Protective Factors

protective factors

Protective factors are strengths and supports that allow children to succeed despite risk factors (e.g. being in poverty or having parents with substance use disorder). Three key factors offered by schools protect young children and promote their resilience: 1) caring relationships, 2) high expectations and academic standards, and 3) opportunities for participation and contribution. 

For children aged 5-12 years, the school's role in supporting protective factors cannot be understated. Through daily contact, schools help shape children's beliefs in their own abilities, and can help children develop and strengthen protective factors. These factors promote resilience when exposed to adverse events, and may even prevent problems from occurring in the future.


Featured Resources

Bolstering Resilience in Students: Teachers as Protective Factors report cover

Provides an overview of research in the area of student resilience, particularly teachers' role in creating an environment where students can develop the ability to overcome challenges. Reviews key protective factors and seven strategies teachers can employ in creating environments that foster resilience in students.

Logo of the Children's Bureau

Lists a number of risk and protective factors that have been identified in relation to child abuse and neglect. Suggests specific actions that school personnel can take to promote protective factors and build resilience in children and families.

American Institutes for Research

U.S. Department of Education

The contents of the National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments Web site were assembled under contracts from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Safe and Supportive Schools to the American Institutes for Research (AIR), Contract Number  91990021A0020.

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