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The Science of CTC

Just as science has identified those things (risk factors) that put people at risk of heart attacks and ways to protect against risk (protective factors and processes), the same is true for preventing problem behaviors from developing for youth during adolescence.


Just as public health efforts have used a multipronged approach to focusing on reducing the risks for heart attacks and protecting people from heart attacks, CTC also uses a multipronged approach:

  • Bringing together community members that are interested in positive youth development

  • Identifying the risk factors in the community that impact youth

  • Identifying those things that encourage positive youth development (protective factors and processes).

  • Prioritizing what the community believes is most important to address, based on data and local community conditions.

  • Identifying what is already in place that helps youth succeed that can be strengthened

  • Identifying where there are gaps – programs or services that are needed

  • Identifying resources; people, places and dollars that can be used to meet needs.

  • Developing and implementing the agreed upon plan

  • Measuring the success – are risks decreasing and are those things that encourage positive youth development increasing?


The Adolescent Problems Chart represents those risk factors that have been identified through over 30 years of research to be indicators of later problem behaviors.  Check marks denote that a link has been established through research.  Other links may exist but have not yet been verified through research.


Children and youth live, learn and grow in a 24/7 environment therefore risk factors and protective factors exist in their 24/7 environment.  For that reason you will notice that the risks are represented in the four areas of a child’s environment; family, school, community and as an individual and as a member of a peer group.

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