Family Risk and Protective Factors

 
An Educational Fact Sheet
from the Florida Alcohol & Drug Association

Families have certain characteristics which increase the possibility that children will experiment with or abuse alcohol and other drugs (AOD). These are called risk factors. Some examples are:
Genetics, family conflict, condoning alcohol/drug use, harsh discipline, and alcohol/drug-using parents.

Some examples of protective factors are: child protection and the decreasing of the likelihood of AOD abuse, family bonding, good parenting shared responsibilities, clear expectations, and quality time spent together.

Decreasing risk factors and increasing protective factored children can grow up in a healthier environment and learn to handle challenges without resorting to alcohol/drug abuse.

Populations at Risk
Current statistics regarding AOD abuse in the United States indicate that many adolescents are at risk for abusing substances, either by parental example or by behavior they have already developed.

Family Risk Factors
Family management factors include: Behavior patterns: Unclear expectations, poor monitoring, few and inconsistent rewards, inconsistent discipline, over involvement or under involvement with children, lack of bonding or closeness between family members, family conflict and lack of involvement in family activities.

Protective Factors
Family bonding, effective parenting, clear expectations/high expectations, quality time/sharing responsibilities stress management and support adult relationship/extended families.

How Can Parents Help
By becoming aware of the situations in which alcohol and other drug abuse can occur.

Being concerned about the company that their children keep.
Developing effective listening skills which help them feel good about themselves.

Being informed about prevention strategies to use at home to include role modeling, peer resistance techniques, involvement in healthy alternatives, and the establishment of a clear family policy with consequences concerning the use if alcohol and drugs.

For further information regarding alcohol, tobacco and other drugs contact FADAA at (850)878-2196, or visit the web site at www.fadaa.org



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