Protective factors and the ecological model

Protective factors are those factors within the child and his or her environment that buffer and shield from the negative effects of adverse circumstances. They have been found to exist at three different levels:

  • Within the individual child (e.g. the child’s disposition and temperamental attributes)
  • Within the child’s family or care situation (e.g. secure attachments with close family or carer relationships)
  • Within the wider community (e.g. positive peer relationships and supportive communities)