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Risk Reduction

 Transgender Children are at risk in so many different ways Because of their gender variance. Our culture has no place for them, and the risks include suicide, murder, and substance abuse to name only a few. What can be done to improve their chances. In substance abuse prevention we speak of increasing the protective factors that will enable the child to flourish and hopefully avoid problems. The following list  is adapted from a list of "assets" that increase protective factors for children in avoiding substance abuse.

External assets

 Family support—Family life provides high levels of love and support. 

Positive family communication—Young person and her or his parent(s) communicate positively and young person is willing to seek advice and counsel from parent(s). 

Other adult relationships—Young person receives support from three or more nonparent adults. 

Caring neighborhood—Young person experiences caring neighbors. 

Caring school climate—School provides a caring, encouraging environment. 

Parent involvement in schooling—Parent(s) are actively involved in helping young person succeed in school. 

Youth as resources—Young people are given useful roles in the community. 

Service to others—Young person serves in the community one hour or more per week. 

Safety—Young person feels safe at home, at school, and in the neighborhood. 

Adult role models—Parent(s) and other adults model positive, responsible behavior. 

Creative activities—Young person spends three or more hours per week in lessons or practice in music, theater or other arts. 

Internal Assets  

Achievement motivation—Young person is motivated to do well in school. 

School engagement—Young person is actively engaged in learning. 

Caring—Young person places high value on helping other people.  

Equality and social justice—Young person places high value on promoting equality and reducing hunger and poverty. 

Integrity—Young person acts on convictions and stands up for her or his beliefs.

 Honesty—Young person "tells the truth even when it is not easy?’ 

Responsibility—Young person accepts and takes personal responsibility.

 Interpersonal competence—Young person has empathy, sensitivity, and friendship skills. 

Cultural competence—Young person has knowledge of and comfort with people of different cultural/racial/ethnic backgrounds.

 Resistance skills—Young person can resist negative peer pressure and dangerous situations.

 Peaceful conflict resolution—Young person seeks to resolve conflict nonviolently.  

Personal power—Young person feels he or she has control over "things that happen to me?’ 

Self-esteem—Young person reports having a high self-esteem.  

Sense of purpose—Young person reports that "my life has a purpose?’ 

Positive view of personal future—Young person is optimistic about her or his personal future. 

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Last modified: 02/09/09