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Positive and Protective Factors in Adolescent Well-Being

  • Laura H. Lippman
  • Renee Ryberg
  • Mary Terzian
  • Kristin A. Moore
  • Jill Humble
  • Hugh McIntosh

Abstract

This chapter reviews the evidence behind positive and protective factors related to adolescent well-being and identifies those that are supported by research that meets selection criteria established by the authors. “Positive factors” are those linked to positive outcomes, and “protective factors” are here defined as those that are negatively correlated with negative outcomes. Although past research has focused on factors related to negative outcomes, research on positive factors is essential to create a balanced, comprehensive approach to the study of adolescent well-being.

Our literature review is organized according to an updated version of a positive-indicators framework developed for the UNICEF Innocenti Research Center (Lippman, L. H., Moore, K. A., & McIntosh, H. (2009). Positive indicators of child well-being: A conceptual framework, measures and methodological issues (Innocenti Working Paper). Florence: United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)), which organizes positive youth development assets into five domains: (a) physical health, development, and safety; (b) psychological and emotional development; (c) social development and behavior; (d) cognitive development and education; and (e) religiosity and spiritual development. We screened more than 300 research publications, selecting for analysis 85 that met at least two of the following criteria of scientific rigor: a sample of at least 200, controls for demographic variables, random sampling, and a longitudinal design with a follow-up of at least one year.

Our chapter describes the positive and protective factors with links to adolescent well-being that are supported by the selected studies. Where studies were available, the chapter also examines evaluation studies to explore how amenable the factors are to intervention. In addition, we point out gaps in the literature and needs for future research.

Keywords

Life Satisfaction Protective Factor Social Competence Emotional Intelligence Emotional Stability 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura H. Lippman
    • 1
  • Renee Ryberg
    • 1
  • Mary Terzian
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  1. 1.Child TrendsBethesdaUSA

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