Risk & Protective Factors

The Communities That Care process creates awareness of the risk and protective factors impacting the healthy development of children and adolescents. Throughout the process, communities target their prevention efforts to reduce risk factors and strengthen protective factors in the four domains of community, family, school, and peer/individual.


Risk factors are those elements in a young person’s environment that increase the likelihood of them engaging in health-compromising behaviors. 

Protective factors buffer against risk in otherwise adverse circumstances by either reducing the impact of risk or changing the way a child or young person responds to it. 

he Social Development Strategy provides a framework that explains how to increase protective factors through everyday interactions with children and adolescents.