Applying the Dual Factor Model of Mental Health to Understanding Protective Factors in Adolescence

Document Type


Publication Date




Source Publication

American Journal of Orthopsychiatry

Source ISSN



Guided by the dual factor model of mental health and the resilience portfolio model, this study sought to identify protective factors that distinguish adolescents who exhibit different patterns of psychological symptoms and well-being. Participants were 466 twelve- to 17-year-old adolescents recruited from the Appalachian region of 3 Southern states who completed measures of psychological symptomatology, well-being and a range of protective factors. Analyses showed that, after accounting for adversity, the most consistent differences in both individual strengths and external resources were found between the groups who differed in well-being rather than those differing in symptoms. The findings indicate that assessing well-being in addition to psychopathology offers insights about protective factors that cannot be obtained by operationalizing health solely in terms of low levels of adjustment problems and has implications for prevention and intervention strategies designed to promote resilience in adolescents.


American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Vol. 90, No. 4 (2020): 458-467. DOI.