Protective factors are conditions or attributes (skills, strengths, resources, supports or coping strategies) in individuals, families, communities or the larger society that help people deal more effectively with stressful events and mitigate or eliminate risk in families and communities.[1][2]

In the field of Preventive Medicine and Health Psychology, Protective Factors refer to any factor that decreases the chances of a negative health outcome occurring. Conversely, a Risk factor will increase the chances of a negative health outcome occurring. Just as statistical correlations and regressions can examine how a range of independent variables impact a dependent variable, we can examine how many Protective and Risk factors contribute to the likelihood of an illness occurring.


Protective factors include:

Some risks that adopted children are prone to:[5]

See also


  1. ^ "A definition of protective factors by a governmental institution for children's welfare". Archived from the original on 2014-07-20. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
  2. ^ "A web page for the prevention of suicide". Archived from the original on April 21, 2012.
  3. ^ Simmel, C. (2007). Risk and protective factors contributing to the longitudinal psycho-social well-being of adopted foster children. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders,15(4), 237-249.
  4. ^ Reilly, T. & Platz, L. (2004). Post-adoption service needs of families with special needs children : Use, helpfulness, and unmet needs. Journal of Social Service Research 30(4)51-67.
  5. ^ Howe, David. (1997). Parent-reported problems in 211 adopted children : Some risk and protective factors. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 38(4), 401-411.