Risk & Protective Factors in the Lives of Youth

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Youth Development Notes - Risk & Protective Factors in the Lives of Youth: The Evidence Base; Volume 1, number 4, 2006. Youth outcomes are directly affected by a range of risk and protective factors. If properly identified, these factors can be used as a signal for policy interventions to increase the likelihood of a positive transition to adulthood. Research has demonstrated that several of these factors have a greater impact on reducing risky behaviors and in promoting positive youth development than others. This Note outlines a framework for identifying risk and protective factors, and focuses on those which have demonstrated a particularly strong effect on youth in a range of longitudinal studies: i) in school attendance; ii) the degree of school “connectedness”; and iii) the sustained presence of caring adults in the lives of young people.

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