External & Internal Developmental Assets

4 Categories of
Developmental Assets
4 Categories of
Developmental Assets


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.


1. Family support Family life provides high levels of love and support.
2. Positive family communicationYoung person and her or his parent(s) communicate positively, and young person is willing to seek advice and counsel from parents.
3. Other adult relationshipsYoung person receives support from three or more nonparent adults.
4. Caring neighborhoodYoung person experiences caring neighbors.
5. Caring school climateSchool 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 youthYoung person perceives that adults in the community value youth.
8. Youth as resourcesYoung people are given useful roles in the community.
9. Service to othersYoung person serves in the community one hour or more per week.
10. Safety Young person feels safe at home, school, and in the neighborhood.

11. Family boundariesFamily has clear rules and consequences and monitors the young persons whereabouts.
12. School Boundaries School provides clear rules and consequences.
13. Neighborhood boundariesNeighbors take responsibility for monitoring young peoples behavior.
14. Adult role modelsParent(s) and other adults model positive, responsible behavior.
15. Positive peer influenceYoung persons best friends model responsible behavior. 16. High expectationsBoth parent(s) and teachers encourage the young person to do well.

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


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

26. CaringYoung person places high value on helping other people.
27. Equality and social justiceYoung person places high value on promoting equality and reducing hunger and poverty.
28. IntegrityYoung person acts on convictions and stands up for her or his beliefs. 29. HonestyYoung person tells the truth even when it is not easy.
30. ResponsibilityYoung person accepts and takes personal responsibility.
31. RestraintYoung person believes it is important not to be sexually active or to use alcohol or other drugs.

32. Planning and decision makingYoung person knows how to plan ahead and make choices.
33. Interpersonal CompetenceYoung person has empathy, sensitivity, and friendship skills.
34. Cultural CompetenceYoung person has knowledge of and comfort with people of dierent cultural/racial/ethnic backgrounds.
35. Resistance skills Young person can resist negative peer pressure and dangerous situations.
36. Peaceful conflict resolutionYoung person seeks to resolve conflict nonviolently.

37. Personal powerYoung person feels he or she has control over things that happen to me.
38. Self-esteem Young person reports having a high self-esteem.
39. Sense of purposeYoung person reports that my life has a purpose.
40. Positive view of personal future Young person is optimistic about her or his personal future.

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