Protective Factors

Protective Factors

Protective factors can promote resilience by helping youth and adults overcome obstacles and adversities and bounce back from trauma. Protective factors can counterbalance the effects of risk factors to ensure balance and the maintenance of good mental health. These factors are individual, familial or social in nature. Protective factors can be strengthened individually, but it is also necessary to have the support of one's family and friends. Among young people, parents or legal guardians are most involved in creating or maintaining protective factors. Schools and teachers can also play a major role in the development of protective factors.

  • Good mental and/or physical health
  • Good self-esteem
  • Good coping skills
  • Social skills
  • Good lifestyle habits (e.g., physical exercise, healthy eating, adequate sleep, etc.)
  • Spirituality or religiosity

  • Family harmony and cohesion
  • The health of family members and friends
  • Financial stability
  • Social support (e.g., having supportive and caring relationships with friends who are reliable)
  • Going to a good school
  • Having a good job
  • Access to health and mental health services
  • Access to community services (e.g., sports group)


Anaut, M. (2005). The concept of resilience and its clinical applications. Recherche en soins infirmiers, (3), 4-11.

Crawford, Kelly M. (2006). Risk and protective factors related to resilience in adolescents in an alternative education program. Graduate Theses and Dissertations.

Diehl, M., Hay, E. L., & Chui, H. (2012). Personal Risk and Resilience Factors in the Context of Daily Stress. Annual review of gerontology & geriatrics32(1), 251–274.

Jourdan-Ionescu, C. (2014). Projective assessment of resilience. From Person to Society, 1087.

Jourdan-Ionescu, C., Ionescu, S., Bouteyre, E., Roth, M., Méthot, L., & Vasile, D. (2011). Résilience assistée et événements survenant au cours de l’enfance: maltraitance, maladie, divorce, décès des parents et troubles psychiatriques des parents. Traité de résilience assistée, Paris: PUF, 155-246.

National Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention. (2004). Risk and Resilience 101. Retrieved June 12, 2020, from

Prevention United. (2020, February 26). Risk and resilience. Retrieved June 12, 2020, from

Rutter, M. (2012). Resilience as a dynamic concept. Development and Psychopathology24(2), 335–344.