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The capacity for young children to adapt and thrive despite adversity develops primarily through the interaction of supportive relationships. While there are other biological and environmental impacts on resilience, it is the combination of responsive relationships, positive experiences and active skill building that are really the protective factors that help children develop resilience.

Some examples of protective factors that have been identified through decades of research include:
  • Consistent and positive relationships with caring adults
  • Effective care giving and parenting
  • Well-developed cognitive and problem-solving skills
  • Self-regulation skills
  • Perceived efficacy and control
  • Achievement motivation
  • Effective and positive teachers and schools
Watch Dr. Ann Masten from the University of Minnesota as she talks about the protective factors that promote resilience and the particular importance of the relationship between adults and children that provide emotional security. Then, watch a short video clip of a mother helping a toddler to climb up a slide. Observe as she encourages problem solving, efficacy and achievement in the context of a warm and supportive interaction. 

When you click on an image below, you will be taken to the SECD website where you can view the videos or sign up to subscribe to the eMessage. Feel free to share any of our videos on your social networks or pass along to a colleague. 

With thanks to our generous funders: The Lawson Foundation, Aga Khan Foundation and World Bank.

Science of Early Child Development (SECD) is a knowledge mobilization initiative designed to make current research accessible to anyone interested in learning more about the critical importance of early child development for lifelong health and well-being. Help share this knowledge – please pass it on.

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