Boy's home, L.A., Calif.  (LOC)
Children raised in orphanages are a high-risk group. [source]

In this post I will be discussing two very important topics in Parenting and Developmental Psychology; Risk Factors and Resilience Factors.
  • Risk Factor: A factor which may lead to a higher probability of future harm of a negative outcome.
  • Resilience (Protective) Factor: A factor which may lead to a increased ability to cope and withstand adversity. Helps individuals withstand risk factors and emerge without serious harm.
Ideally a parent or guardian's duty is to increase the amount of resilience factors and keep the number of risk factors to a minimum. There are several different categories of factors which I will list and give examples of below:

Family Risk Factors:
  • Abuse/neglect.
  • Overt conflict between parents/caregivers.
  • Separation/divorce.
  • Parents delaying child's growth.
  • Major parental illnesses.
  • Parental criminality.
  • Loss and bereavement.
Family Resilience Factors:
  • Multiple adults.
  • At least one close adult.
  • Forming secure attachments.
  • Parents who facilitate education/learning.
  • Having an extended family present.
Individual Risk Factors:
  • Genetics.
  • Learning/developmental disabilities.
  • Difficult temperament.
  • Physical illness.
  • Close relationship.friendship with delinquent peers.
  • Low expectations.
Individual Resilience Factors:
  • Intelligence.
  • Communication skills.
  • Sense of humor.
  • Religious beliefs.
  • Easy temperament.
  • Hobbies or talents.
Environmental Risk Factors:
  • Poverty.
  • Natural disasters.
  • War.
Environmental Resilience Factors:
  • Strong social networks.
  • Non-poverty.
  • School attendance.
It is important to note that these risk/resilience factors do not exist separately but  all have the potential to interact with one another.
Decisions... (Day 4: Project 365)
Decisions, decisions. [source]

Heuristics are mental shortcuts used to quickly and efficiently form judgements and make decisions. Below is a list of commonly used heuristics:
  • Availability Heuristic: Availability is ease in which a particular topic can be brought to mind. The availability Heuristic occurs when people make judgements based on how easily they can think of examples.
  • Representativeness Heuristic: Representativeness is how well an an individual (person, object, place, etc.) fits into a group or category. Individuals are more likely to get categorized into a group if they share similarities with that group.
  • Absurdity Heuristic: An absurd situation is one that seems to defy common sense or logic. When presented with an absurd situation we often believe the situation to be untrue or highly unlikely.
  • Authority Heuristic: This heuristic occurs when someone believes or agrees with the opinion of an authority figure just because they are an authority figure. This often happen with parents, teachers, 'experts', and politicians.
Heuristics are useful because their use does not demand much mental effort.We use heuristics daily and often are unaware that we are doing so. A question should be asked: Why do we often use quick methods that do not require much mental effort? The answer is, because they allow us to make judgements and decisions that are often satisfactory. Although using heuristics leads us to 'good enough' answers there is a wide range of situations where using them can lead to incorrect judgements and bad decisions.

In an upcoming post I'm planning on writing more about the Availability Heuristic and how it can go wrong and be used to affect judgements.