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Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction: What Science Says

4: Risk and Protective Factors

Risk and protective factors

  • Risk factors: Challenge an individual’s emotional, social and academic development
  • Protective factors: Can lessen the impact of risk factors. Their impact varies along the developmental process.
  • Common risk factors are found for multiple adolescent problem behaviors – e.g., substance use, teen pregnancy, delinquency, school drop out, violence

Evidence-based prevention interventions may target risk and protective factors in the individual, family, peer, school and community domains.

The Aim of Prevention Approaches is to reduce risk factors and enhance protective factors.

This page was last updated February 2016

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NIDA. (2016, February 11). Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction: What Science Says. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/understanding-drug-abuse-addiction-what-science-says

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