Health Blog

Importance of Protective Factors

Protective factors encourage healthy families with positive outcomes and limit the possible chances of negative outcomes. Protective factors act like a shield protecting families from the bad or scary things in life that could hurt them and supports the families to be healthy and engaged. These protective factors help families function better at work, home, school or in the community.

Four of these protective factors that can help children and families are self-regulation skills, relational skills, problem-solving skills, and involvement in positive activities.

  • Self-regulation skills are a person’s ability to control or handle emotions and behaviors. Self-regulation skills include coping skills like taking a deep breath, leaving a negative situation, getting a drink of water, or listening to music.
  • Relational skills are a person’s ability to make positive relationships and connections with others. Relational skills involve having a positive relationship like a student-teacher relationship, a supportive friend, or a parent-child relationship.
  • Problem-solving skills are a person’s ability to change their behavior or thinking when a situation changes as well as the ability to solve problems that may come up in life. These skills involve being able to look at different perspectives of a situation and thinking of new ways to solve a problem.
  • Being involved in positive activities is another protective factor. By being involved in a positive activity like school activities, sports, community activities, or connections with a religious institution, families have more opportunities to build stronger, positive relationships within the community to help build up a family.

Claire Titcombe, LMSW, MPA
Maternal and Infant Health and Strong Beginnings Supervisor