Risk and Protective Factors in the Life of Youth in Relation to Resilience

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Introduction: A certain degree of stress is present in everyone’s life and young people are not an exception. Most of them show a certain degree of resilience and can cope with stressful situations without any difficulties, however there is a group of youth who live in toxic environments and need help. If there is a risk of failure due to the intensity of stressors; external formal and informal support have a great role to play as they have the potential to prevent negative developmental outcomes.

Purpose: The authors’ intention was to make a review of available literature on the current issues of resilience research with a focus on the importance of protective factors in young people’s lives – especially when they are exposed to adversity. An emphasis is placed on the vital role of social support to individuals provided by schools as well as social services.

Methods: In the presented literature review, multiple formal search methods including hand searching of key journals; electronic searching of journal databases and subject specific websites; reference scanning; and citation tracking were used.

Conclusion: Individuals commonly demonstrate some level of resilience, yet most of them are able to deal with stressful situations without any harm. On the other hand, if the adversity is too high, the presence of social support provided by their social environment is important. In this context, good relationships in general and sufficient external protective factors provided by their social environment (schools, school psychologists, institutional social and health service providers) are important.

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