40 Developmental Assets 
A Brief Overview

What are the 40 Developmental Assets?

  • In 1990, Search Institute released a framework of 40 Developmental Assets, which identifies a set of skills, experiences, relationships and behaviors that enable young people to develop into successful and contributing adults


  • The assets are the building blocks of healthy development, regardless of a child’s background, gender or socioeconomic status


  • The more developmental assets a young person has, the less likely they are to engage in risk-taking behaviors, such as drug and alcohol use, violence and sexual activities


There are eight Asset Categories representing broad areas of human development. These categories paint a picture of the POSITIVE THINGS ALL YOUNG PEOPLE NEED to grow up healthy and responsible.

  • There are four External Asset Categories, which focus on external structures, relationships and activities that create a positive environment for young people. They include: Support, Empowerment, Boundaries & Expectations and Constructive Use of Time


  • There are four Internal Asset Categories, which reflect internal values, skills and beliefs that young people also need to fully engage with, and function, in the world around them. They include: Commitment to Learning, Positive Values, Social Competencies and Positive Identity


There are two MAJOR SHIFTS IN THOUGHT that are promoted within this framework: (1) Instead of focusing on fixing a young person’s problems, this framework focuses on promoting a young person’s strengths; and (2) Instead of focusing on programs, this framework focuses on developing healthy relationships

We ALL have the ability to build youth assets – no formal education is needed because the assets are common sense things that kids need and deserve!  Volunteers are put on hold as the Schools determine the best course during COVID.

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