Successful Prevention of Youth High-Risk Behaviors

Decrease Risk Factors and Increase Protective Factors

Reducing the "risk factors" in the environments of children that increase the odds they will become involved in high-risk behavior, while increasing the "protective factors" that buffer children from the full impact of risk factors and other life stress should be the goal of every family, school, and youth-serving community organization.

The risk and protective factors listed below are based on hundreds of studies. Researchers* offer several recommendations for minimizing youth involvement in high risk behavior and maximizing life success. These recommendations include:


What Are the Factors Most Highly Correlated with the Prevention of Youth Substance Use?

Although prevention programs target people of all ages, many programs focus on young people. Because of this, it is useful to know which protective factors are important to youth, and which risk factors have the highest correlation to alcohol and other drug use among youth.

The following protective factors help young people resist substance use:

The Five Core Protective Factors

Developmental Research and Programs, Inc
Risk and Resource Assessment
, May 1994


The risk factors which have the highest correlation to alcohol and other drug use among youth are as follows:

Community

Family

School

Peer/ Individual

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