40 Assets

What are Developmental Assets?

The Developmental Assets are a set of 40 positive qualities, skills, experiences, and opportunities that help influence choices young people make. Based on more than four decades of research on youth development, these assets paint a picture of the positive building blocks young people need to grow into competent, capable, caring and healthy people.

Why do Assets Matter?

Studies have shown that when young people have more assets, they are more likely to be leaders, live healthier lives, and do well in school.  The Search Institute research indicates that ideally a young person that has 31 assets or more is 97% less likely to use drugs, become involved in violence, or participate in underage drinking. In short, the more assets a young person has, the more likely he or she is to succeed in many aspects of life.


  1. Family Support- Family life provides high levels of love and support.
  2. Positive family communication- Young person and her or his parent(s) communicate positively, and young person is willing to seek parent(s) advice and counsel.
  3. Other adult relationships- Young person receives support from three or more non-parent 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 a young person succeed in school.


  1. Community values youth-Young person perceives that adults in the community value youth.
  2. Youth as resources- Young people are given useful roles in the community.
  3. Service to others- Young person serves in the community one hour or more per week.
  4. Safety- Young person feels safe at home, school, and in the neighborhood.


  1. Family boundaries- Family has clear rules and consequences, and monitors the young person's whereabouts.
  2. School boundaries- Schoolprovides clear rules and consequences.
  3. Neighborhood boundaries- Neighbors take responsibility for monitoring young people’s behavior.
  4. Adult role models- Parent(s) and other adults model positive, responsible behavior.
  5. Positive peer influence- Young person's best friends model responsible behavior.
  6. High expectations- Both parent(s) and teachers encourage the young person to do well.


  1. Creative activities- Young person spends three or more hours a week in lessons or practice in music, theatre, or other arts.
  2. Youth programs- Young person spends three or more hours per week in sports, clubs or organizations at school and/or in community organizations.
  3. Religious community- Young person spends one or more hours per week in activities in a religious institution.
  4. Time at home- Young person is out with friends "with nothing special to do," two or fewer nights per week.


  1. Achievement motivation- Young person is motivated to do well in school.
  2. School engagement- Young person is actively engaged in learning.
  3. Homework- Young person reports doing at least one hour of homework every school day.
  4. Bonding to school- Young person cares about her or his school.
  5. Reading for pleasure- Young person reads for pleasure three or more hours per week.


  1. Caring- Young person places high value on helping other people.
  2. Equitable & social justice- Young person places high value on promoting equality and reducing hunger and poverty.
  3. Integrity- Young person acts on convictions and stands up for her or his beliefs.
  4. Honesty- Young person "tells the truth even when it is not easy."
  5. Responsibility- Young person accepts and takes personal responsibility.
  6. Restraint- Young person believes it is important not to be sexually active or use alcohol or other drugs.


  1. Planning & decision making- Young person knows how to plan ahead and make choices.
  2. Interpersonal competence- Young person has empathy, sensitivity, and friendship skills.
  3. Cultural competence- Young person has knowledge of and comfort with people of different cultural/racial/ethnic backgrounds.
  4. Resistance skills- Young person can resist negative peer pressure and dangerous situations.
  5. Peaceful conflict resolution- Young person seeks to resolve conflict nonviolently.


  1. Personal control- Young person feels he or she has control over "things that happen to me."
  2. Self-esteem- Young person reports having a high self-esteem.
  3. Sense of purpose- Young person reports that "my life has purpose."
  4. Positive view of personal future- Young person is optimistic about her or his personal future.

Newsletter #1
Powerful Parenting

Newsletter #2
Everyone Provides the Strength of Support

Newsletter #3
Love and Support: The Family Foundation

Newsletter #4
Open-Door Communication

Newsletter #5
The Support of Others

Newsletter #6
Neighborhood Friends

Newsletter #7
School Climate: What’s the Forecast?

Newsletter #8
Staying Involved in School

Newsletter #9
The Value of Appreciation

Newsletter #10
Seeing from a Child’s View

Newsletter #11
Giving Young People Meaningful Roles

Newsletter #12
10 Benefits of Serving Others

Newsletter #13
Feeling Safe to Move Forward

Newsletter #14
Why Boundaries and Expectations Make a Difference

Newsletter #15
Short, Simple Boundaries

Newsletter #16
Parents and Schools Setting Limits Together

Newsletter #17
Renewing the Neighborhood

Newsletter #18
What a Difference a Friend Makes

Newsletter #19
Photos of Friends: Snapshots of Responsibility

Newsletter #20
Encouraging Their Best

Newsletter #21
Time: Help Make Your Child’s Count

Newsletter #22
Adding the Arts to Your Family Time

Newsletter #23
E Is for Essential

Newsletter #24
What Congregations Offer

Newsletter #25
Finding Your Way

Newsletter #26
Encouraging Children to Love Learning

Newsletter #27
The Benefits of Motivation from the Inside Out

Newsletter #28
The Power of Learning

Newsletter #29
Homework Helpers

Newsletter #30
School Staying Power

Newsletter #31
The Realities of Reading

Newsletter #32
The Importance of Values

Newsletter #33
Caring Begins at Home

Newsletter #34
A World Full of Care

Newsletter #35
Acting on Beliefs Means Taking Risks

Newsletter #36
Acknowledging Acts of Honesty

Newsletter #37
Responsibility: The 4 Keys

Newsletter #38
Restraint: A Key Asset

Newsletter #39
The Importance of Social Competencies

Newsletter #40
Putting Planning into Action

Newsletter #41
Interpersonal Competence: It’s Not That Easy

Newsletter #42
Appreciating Differences

Newsletter #43
Resistance Skills and Reasoning

Newsletter #44
7 Steps to Making Peace

Newsletter #45
The Power of a Positive Identity

Newsletter #46
Every Person Can Make a Difference

Newsletter #47
High Self-Esteem: Where Does It Come From?

Newsletter #48
Finding the Meaning of Life

Newsletter #49
A Reason to Hope

Newsletter #50
You Are Your Child’s Compass

Newsletter #51
Internal Assets in Action

Newsletter #52
Others Can Share in What You Do Already