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On the other hand, growing up in a family in which parents talked frankly with their children about alcohol (and didn't abuse it themselves) may be considered a protective factor.Research suggests that the greater the number of risk factors, the greater the chances of adverse outcomes on health, education, and development.Have you ever wondered why some people in our communities have better outcomes than others?Why some children do well in school while other kids - equally intelligent - do not?Here is more specific information on the types of personal factors that contribute to risk and protection: Knowledge and Skill: Some of the factors that influence the development of cardiovascular diseases (CVD ) include physical activity, diet, smoking and regular health screening.More specifically, some of the modifiable risk factors for CVD include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, physical inactivity, and diabetes.

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For example, in an effort to prevent substance abuse, an approach that uses risk and protective factors to direct interventions might give young people healthy activities in which to participate, positive role models, and the assertiveness training to "Just say no! We suggest that you consider risk and protective factors as one of your early steps when you are writing or revising the strategic plan for your initiative. As we said above, risk and protective factors are aspects of a person (or group) and environment and life experiences that make it more likely (risk factors) or less likely (protective factors) that people will develop a given problem or achieve a desired outcome.

If your organization is already up and running, you might want to look at risk and protective factors before you revise the strategic plan for your initiative.

(That's something you probably want to be looking critically at every one to two years, anyway.) If you are planning a new initiative or if your organization is starting a new program (perhaps your Youth Coalition recently received a grant to try to reduce teen pregnancy), then the time to start is after you have developed your long-term goals, but before you've developed the road map (or "model of change") that will get you to them.

For example, as you read above, cardiovascular diseases have some related factors very specific to that issue.

So, you believe risk and protective factors are important, but are unsure when your initiative should address them.

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