40 Developmental Assets for Adolescents
Search Institute has identified the following building blocks of healthy development—known as Developmental Assets—that help young children grow up healthy, caring, and responsible.
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1. Family Support – Family life provides high levels of love and support.
2. Positive Family Communication – Young person and her/his parent(s) communicate positively, and young person is willing to seek advice and counsel from parents.
3. Other Adult Relationships – Young person receives support from three or more nonparent adults.
4. Caring Neighborhood – Young person experiences caring neighbors.
5. Caring School Climate – School provides a caring, encouraging environment.
6. Parent Involvement in Schooling – Parent(s) are actively involved in helping young person succeed in school.


7. Community Values Youth – Young person perceives that adults in the community value youth.
8. Youth as Resources – Young people are given useful roles in the community.
9. Service to Others – Young person serves in the community one hour or more per week.
10. Safety – Young person feels safe at home, school and in the neighborhood.

Boundaries and Expectations

11. Family Boundaries – Family has clear rules and consequences and monitors the young person’s whereabouts.
12. School Boundaries – School provides clear rules and consequences.
13. Neighborhood Boundaries – Neighbors take responsibility for monitoring young people’s behavior.
14. Adult Role Models – Parent(s) and other adults model positive, responsible behavior.
15. Positive Peer Influence – Young person’s best friends model responsible behavior.
16. High Expectations – Both parent(s) and teachers encourage the young person to do well.

Constructive Use of Time

17. Creative Activities – Young person spends three or more hours per week in lessons or practice in music, theater or other arts.
18. Youth Programs – Young person spends three or more hours per week in sports, clubs or organizations at school and/or in the community.
19. Religious Community – Young person spends one or more hours per week in activities in a religious institution.
20. Time at Home – Young person is out with friends “with nothing special to do” two or fewer nights per week.

Commitment to Learning

21. Achievement Motivation – Young person is motivated to do well in school.
22. School Engagement – Young person is actively engaged in learning.
23. Homework – Young person reports doing at least one hour of homework every school day.
24. Bonding to School – Young person cares about her or his school.
25. Reading for Pleasure – Young person reads for pleasure three or more hours per week.

Positive Values

26. Caring – Young person places high value on helping other people.
27. Equality and Social Justice – Young person places high value on promoting equality and reducing hunger and poverty.
28. Integrity – Young person acts on convictions and stands up for her/his beliefs.
29. Honesty – Young person “tells the truth even when it is not easy.”
30. Responsibility – Young person accepts and takes personal responsibility.
31. Restraint – Young person believes it is important not to be sexually active or to use alcohol or other drugs.

Social Competencies

32. Planning and Decision Making – Young person knows how to plan ahead and make choices.
33. Interpersonal Competence – Young person has empathy, sensitivity and friendship skills.
34. Cultural Competence – Young person has knowledge of and comfort with people of different cultural/racial/ethnic backgrounds.
35. Resistance Skills – Young person can resist negative peer pressure and dangerous situations.
36. Peaceful Conflict Resolution – Young person seeks to resolve conflict nonviolently.

Positive Identity

37. Personal Power – Young person feels he/she has control over “things that happen to me.”
38. Self-Esteem – Young person reports having a high self-esteem.
39. Sense of Purpose – Young person reports that “my life has a purpose.”
40. Positive View of Personal Future – Young person is optimistic about her/his personal future.