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Risk and Protective Factor Theory

David Hawkins and Richard Catalano developed the risk and protective factor theory on the basis of an extensive review of research on substance use and other problem behaviors among youth. Analogous to the medical model of human disease, this theory suggests that substance abuse and other problem behaviors can be mitigated by limiting the number or preventing the development of risk factors and by bolstering protective factors within individuals. Risk factors are defined as anything within an individual or the individual's family, peers, or community that increases the likelihood of developing a problem with substance use. Conversely, protective factors are defined as anything that decreases the probability of developing problematic substance use. To be included as a risk or protective factor, variables of interest had ...

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