What Protects Children From Substance Abuse?
Not all children-even those exposed to many risk factors over a long period of time-will develop substance abuse problems. They seem to be protected by certain conditions that researchers call protective factors, which also occur in three areas of life: • Child protective factors, such as a positive attitude, an ability to adapt to changing circumstances, and a belief in one’s ability to “handle things” • Family protective factors, such as a close-knit family, warmth, consistent discipline, and parental supervision of children’s daily activities • Environmental protective factors, such as close friends, an extended family that provides support, community resources that families can turn to for help, and family and community attitudes that do not tolerate substance abuse Protective factors can decrease the harm caused by some risk factors and can prevent certain risks from developing into problems. The more you reduce risk factors and increase protective factors, the more likely you are
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