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African Man Helping his Daughter with her Homework


A determinant force in establishing protective factors is the role models that parents represent. Role models are not only what the children and adolescents see, but also parental attitudes towards life.

The father having a positive attitude towards life provides his adolescent children with high expectations with respect to the future, as well as with the desire to participate in the family’s life and work.

Studies have been conducted among low-income families, showing that those parents who see a high potential in their children, and who—through their attitudes—convey to them the belief that they can achieve positive results, fulfill a very important role in the reduction of behavioral problems and substance abuse.

Last, but not least, faith and religiosity stand out as a family protection factor. This quality of families capable of recovering has been pointed out in the last decade as one of the three most important characteristics that such families exhibit and apply. As the old Proverb goes “The family that prays together stays together“.

This quality has also been observed in adolescents showing a capacity for self-recovery, and it’s stated that strong religious beliefs provide a sense of stability and meaning to the lives of adolescents. Also the participation in religious activities facilitates the formation of peer groups with positive characteristics, where there is an exchange of attitudes, beliefs, and values excluding the use of addictive substances.

To children and adolescents who possess the ability to recover from problematic situations, as well as to their caregivers, faith offers a sense of belonging and coherence. They develop the conviction that their lives have meaning, and that in spite of obstacles, things will turn out OK.

A church-based social environment in any family creates an atmosphere where the use of drugs and violence will be sharply limited or even non-existent.

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