Topic 3 Interrelations among Risk and Protective Factors

  1. Health behaviour is influenced by physical environments, social environments, and personal attributes,
  2. Environments are multidimensional, such as social or physical, actual or perceived, discrete attributes (spatial arrangements) or constructs (social climate),
  3. Human-environment interactions occur at varying levels of aggregation (individuals, families, cultural groups, whole populations), and
  4. People influence their settings, and the changed settings then influence health behaviours (Sallis, Owen,  & Fisher, 2015).
  • All people have some combination of risk and protective factors.
  • Many factors are related to multiple outcomes.
  • Outcomes of risk and protective factors vary with regard to many other factors within (e.g., age) and outside the person (e.g., living conditions).
  • Different factors have a greater or lesser influence on behaviour at different stages in a person’s life.
  • Presence of certain factors at specific developmental stages helps in progress or advancement of problematic use at later developmental stages (stepping-stones).
  • Outcomes of some risk and protective factors are general (e.g., related to health in general, or diverse health problems), while of others are more specific (e.g., related to only one health problem).
  • There is cumulative effect of risk factors – the more risk factors a person has, the greater the likelihood they will have a given health problem.
  • There is cumulative effect of protective factors – the more protective factors a person has, the greater the likelihood they will lessen/buffer/ balance the effect of risk factors for a given health problem.
  • Persons with the same set of risk factors will probably not experience the same difficulties.
  • Exposure to even a significant number of risk factors does not necessarily mean that health problem will certainly occur.
  • Absence of risk factors do not mean that person will never develop health problem.