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Other Risk and Protective Factors

The Communities for Youth process involves collecting youth data related to a variety of risk and protective factors for youth well-being.  Risk factors make it more likely a certain negative outcome will occur, while protective factors make it less likely a certain negative outcome will occur. Measuring risk and protective factors, especially those related to the environments (schools, communities, etc.) where youth live and learn helps move prevention further upstream from crises. 

The following areas have been linked by previous research studies to youth mental health outcomes and are thus commonly included on Communities for Youth survey instruments or in other data collection methods.

  • Family Support

  • School Connectedness

  • Leisure Time

  • Experiences in Community

  • Social Media Use

  • Substance Use

  • Bullying and Interpersonal Violence

  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES)


Schools participating in Communities for Youth regional initiatives tailor their data collection to the specific needs of their communities and schools. Once data is collected, the Communities for Youth Empowerment Team performs statistical analyses on overall levels of youth mental health challenges as well as the driving factors behind reported mental health challenges.

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