Protective Factors as Measured by the DECA —Interrelations and Predictability of Co-Occurring Behavior Concerns

Dylan S. T. Voris, Seema Mahdavi, Kyle H. Davis, Kara L. Constantine, Katelin daCruz, Taylor B. Hicks, Jeffrey D. Shahidullah, Brittany Mash, Nikki Horn, Brittany Brewer, JoLynn Y. Hawkins, Amy Nasamran, Angela Finkbeiner, Madison Chapman, John S. Carlson


The current study investigates the relationship between the protective factors of initiative, self-control, and
attachment and their ability to predict levels of behavioral concern in a Head Start population (N=1885).
Considerable research has found strong connections between protective factors and positive outcomes. However,
little research has examined the unique contributions of multiple protective factors concurrently. Results of the
current study indicate that when children have any one protective factor they are likely to have other protective
factors. When considered individually, protective factors are predictive of low levels of behavior concern.
Conversely, when all protective factors are considered together, only self-control predicts a lack of behavior
concern. This implies that strength-based screeners can inform interventions that improve protective factors and
may reduce behavioral problems in at-risk preschool populations.

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Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology   ISSN 1927-0526 (Print)   ISSN 1927-0534 (Online)

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