Risk Factors

Risk factors are things that researchers have identified as correlates of a particular negative outcome. Risk factors correlate with the negative outcome, but do not necessary cause, or even contribute to causing, the outcome. In our case, we are most interested in risk factors for truancy, school problems or dropout. The more risk factors a child faces, the greater the chances he or she will experience the negative outcome in question. The presence of risk factors does not guarantee the negative outcome, however, if enough protective factors are also present.