Resilience theory was the guiding body of research and literature that shaped the development of the DECA Program and other DECI resources. More on resilience is listed below:
- "Resilience" is defined as the ability to bounce back, overcome the odds, or adjust to misfortune or change. Children who have strong "protective factors" outweighing their "risk factors" are more likely to be resilient.
- ALL children need resilience, not just children who are at-risk. Sometimes a tragedy, a natural disaster, a death in the family, a divorce, an illness, etc. comes up unexpectedly, which is when a child really needs to have strong protective factors and coping skills already in place.
- Three within-child protective factors are central to the development of resilience: Initiative, Self-control, and Attachment. These three protective factors are measured through assessment and strengthened through strategies offered in the DECA Program resources.