Protective and Promotive Factors Build Resilience in Youth

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Youth Resilience

Managing stress and functioning well when faced with stressors, challenges or adversity; building on individual characteristics, strengths and interests.

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Social Connections

Having healthy, sustained relationships with people, institutions and the community that promote a sense of trust, belonging and a belief that one matters.

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Knowledge of Adolescent Development

Understanding the unique aspects of adolescent development, including adolescent brain development, the impact of trauma and identity development.

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Concrete Support in Times of Need

Understanding the importance of asking for help and advocating for oneself; receiving quality services (e.g., health care, housing, education) designed to preserve youths’ dignity, provide opportunities for skill development and promote healthy practices.

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Cognitive & Social-Emotional Competence

Acquiring skills and attitudes that are essential for forming an independent identity and having a productive, responsible and satisfying adulthood.

These Protective and Promotive Factors have been shown in research to build resilience in youth and help them thrive despite experiencing childhood trauma. This framework is used to strengthen youth, families and communities throughout the world. Research on the effect of these factors has been done by many, including the Center for the Study of Social Policy
and the US Department of Child Welfare Services.

Additionally, the Friendship Club program at Bright Futures for Youth incorporates parts of the Girls Circle curriculum into its overall program. The Girls Circle model focuses on building resiliency and skills in a safe group setting that increases positive connection, personal and collective strengths, and competence in girls. This is done through fun, interactive activities that build positive self-esteem, healthy relationships, sense of self, and goals for the future. For more information visit One Circle Foundation.

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