Protective Factors for Resilience
Nurturing Resilience

Barbara Brody, Toiresa Frazier, Shannon Tierney Lipscomb and Megan Pratt
PNW 764 | February 2022 |

Resilience is adapting positively to life’s challenges. Resilience is for everyone. We nurture resilience by caring for ourselves and each other.

Protective factors

What we know

Protective factors in our culture and community (shown by the sun in the illustration below) nurture resilience by supporting the caregivers and the child.

Supportive relationships are protective factors (shown by the gardeners) that nurture children’s roots of resilience.

Children (shown by the tree) have many individual protective factors. They do not need strength in all areas to be resilient. Supportive relationships and community and culture help children gain these individual skills.

What can we do?

Notice and encourage children’s protective factors. Share family and community traditions, build relationships, and call out their successes. “Wow — I see how hard you worked on that drawing!”

Prioritize your protective factors, too! Choose one person to reach out to this week. Invite them for a walk, talk or to share food. Write them a thank you note or connect in another way.

Protective factors

Individual skills and perspectives

  • Sense of belonging
  • Growth mindset
  • Self-regulation
  • Hopefulness
  • Persistence
  • Confidence

Supportive relationships

  • Neighbors
  • Friends
  • Coaches
  • Teachers
  • Family members
  • Spiritual leaders

Community and culture

  • Quality education
  • Access to health care
  • Places to worship
  • Community groups
  • Parks and places to play
  • Fresh air


For more information on trauma-informed care for children, visit Roots of Resilience.

About the authors

Shannon Tierney Lipscomb
Associate Professor and Program Coordinator, Human Development and Family Sciences
Oregon State University

Was this page helpful?