There are two types of protective factors involved in resilience: the rugged qualities that reside
within all of us, and the resources that support us.
The Standard Manual for Education Settings contains a series of modules, one for each of the 12
protective factors (six rugged qualities and six resources) found to be most important for students.
1. Communication Skills – the capacity to communicate well with those around
us and tell them what we need. Good communication skills can help us to
express ourselves and articulate problems before they escalate.
2. Critical Thinking – the ability to analyse and evaluate an issue to make
better judgements. Good critical thinking helps us evaluate the accuracy
and truthfulness of information we receive so that we can make our own
3. Empathy – interest in/ care for / understanding and appreciating the needs of
others. Empathy is important for building social relationships, healthy family
dynamics, and connections with society.
4. Motivation and Perseverance – the ability to continue behaving in ways that
are of benefit to us during difficult times. Motivation and perseverance mean
getting back up after failing and continuing to try in the face of challenges.
5. Problem Solving – the ability to consider many different potential solutions
to a problem and choose the best one. Problem solving is a necessary
component of conflict resolution and constructively coping with adversity.
6. Self-Esteem – the feeling that we are showing others our best selves without
inhibition. High self-esteem means we see ourselves as capable, worthy, and
as a person of value, which benefits our well-being and many other resilience
1. A Supportive Peer Group – beginning and maintaining relationships with
supportive peers. Peers offer companionships and a sense of connection, as
well as social support during challenges.
2. Appropriate Use of Social Media – beneficial contact with others through
social media without feeling the pressure of social comparisons. Using social
media to share information and express feelings can help build friendships
and increase our psychological well-being.
3. Opportunities to Fix Mistakes – having opportunities to correct and learn
from one’s mistakes. The process of acknowledging a mistake, reflecting on
it, and attempting to fix it helps us to learn new abilities and skills.
4. Opportunities to Make Decisions for Oneself (appropriate to one’s age and
abilities) – access to opportunities to make decisions that affect our lives.
Making important decisions for ourselves gives us a sense of autonomy,
control, involvement, and the chance to consider the impact of our actions.
5. Reasonable Consequences for One’s Actions – recognizing the impact our
actions have for us and others. Consequences help us make sense of the
way the world works and teach us socially accepted behaviours and values,
as well as personal responsibility.
6. Reasonable Expectations for Behaviour – expectations that we behave in
ways that are in our own best interest. High yet achievable expectations
communicate a belief in our abilities and inspire us to take on challenges;
while established norms of behaviour give us a degree of stability and
prosociality, even during adversity.
Each module contains key learning objectives, a summary of the science, and case studies, as well
as lesson plans and activities that can be used as a practical guide of how to implement these
resilience factors in the classroom.