General Factors

  • assertiveness
  • ability to solve problems
  • self-efficacy
  • ability to live with uncertainty
  • self-awareness
  • a positive outlook
  • empathy for others
  • having goals and aspirations
  • ability to maintain a balance between independence and dependence on others
  • appropriate use of or abstinence from substances like alcohol and drugs
  • a sense of humour
  • a sense of duty (to others or self, depending on the culture)

Relationship Factors

  • parenting that meets the child’s needs
  • appropriate emotional expression and parental monitoring within the family
  • social competence
  • the presence of a positive mentor and role models
  • meaningful relationships with others at school, home, and perceived social support
  • peer group acceptance

Community Factors

  • opportunities for age-appropriate work
  • avoidance of exposure to violence in one’s family, community, and with peers
  • government provision for children’s safety, recreation, housing, and jobs when they are at the appropriate age to work
  • meaningful rites of passage with an appropriate amount of risk
  • tolerance of high-risk and problem behavior
  • safety and security
  • perceived social equity
  • access to school and education, information, and learning resources

Cultural Factors

  • affiliation with a religious organization
  • tolerance for different ideologies and beliefs
  • adequate management of cultural dislocation and a change or shift in values
  • self-betterment
  • having a life philosophy
  • cultural and/or spiritual identification
  • being culturally grounded by knowing where you come from and being part of a cultural tradition that is expressed through daily activities

Physical Ecology Factors

  • access to a healthy environment
  • security in one’s community
  • access to recreational spaces
  • sustainable resources
  • ecological diversity (for more on this, see and our publications)

"Everyone has a right to have a present and future that are not completely dominated and dictated by the past" - Karen Saakvitne