There some young people who do not become juvenile delinquents, substance abusers, teen-parents, or school drop-outs despite their exposure to multiply risk factors in society. The main reason behind this is the presence of protective factors, which either reduces the impact of risks or changes the way a person responds to those risks. Based on various researches, protective factors can be placed under three categories: individual characteristics, bonding, and healthy beliefs and clear standards.
The first individual characteristic is gender. In this aspect, it has been proved that girls are less likely to develop behavior and health problems than boys given equal exposure to risks. Another individual trait is social temperament, which involves having the ability recover from or adjust to problems. A positive social orientation is another characteristic that involves being good natured, participating in social interactions, and drawing out positive attention.
Lastly, intelligence is another trait that can help children perform well in school but cannot protect against substance abuse. The second category, bonding, involves strengthening a child’s bond with positive and sociable family members, friends, and peers. It has been shown through various studies that children who are more attached to positive influences in the family, in the school, and in the community, are less likely to develop problems when they become adolescents.
Children who bond well these social groups are basically committed to upholding their positive goals. Finally, healthy beliefs and clear standards are the ideas and beliefs that reinforce a child’s bond with his or her social groups. These standards protect young people and encourage them to have positive beliefs. For example, being against the use of alcohol and drugs at a young age has been shown as a standard that can protect the youth from the negative effects of substance abuse as well as other risk factors.