Purpose To describe main findings from a special issue on protective factors against youth offending and violence. Contributors from eleven major prospective longitudinal studies were asked to conduct analyses of “direct ameliorative effects” for high-risk individuals (i.e. risk-based protective factors) as well as analyses of “interactive protective effects” for both high-risk and low-risk individuals (i.e. buffering protective factors). Methods Beyond variations in analytical strategies that are connected with the actual data available within each longitudinal study, it is a particular strength that contributors were told that they should feel free to present any type of analyses on main and/or interactive effects of protective factors against offending and that all results are important irrespective of whether effects were statistically significant or not. Results A number of consistent findings emerge across the studies described in the edited volume, such as the notable increase and decrease in offending and violence as a function of cumulative risk and protective factor indices respectively. There are also different protective effects across the various (individual, family, school etc.) domains and at different developmental stages across several studies that might be related to variations in measurement and other methodological features. Conclusions Most protective factors that emerge from these diverse studies in different geographic and sociopolitical contexts are in concordance with the broader literature on resilience, thus conveying a powerful message of universality of results. Further research on age-specific, gender-specific and context-specific predictors of resilience is warranted, with findings feeding into future intervention planning through a careful research strategy.