Developmental Assets

Developmental Assets are building blocks young people need for healthy development. The Search Institute has been researching assets for 40 years. Both Internal and External assets exist and affect the lives of youth. The Institutes research explains that the more assets someone has the more positive choices they make.

Developmental Assets serve as protective factors for youth against unhealthy behaviors like sexual activity, substance use and abuse, antisocial behavior, violence, problems in school, depression and gambling. Youth with fewer assets are less likely to engage in positive behaviors.

The following is the list of Assets. Answer Yes or No to each Asset and then add up all Yes’s for a total score.

 

External Assets

SUPPORT

  1. Family Support – Family life provides high levels of love and support.
  2. Positive family communication – Parent(s) and children communicate positively. Child feels comfortable seeking advice and counsel from parent(s).
  3. Other adult relationships – Child receives support from adults other than her or his parent(s).
  4. Caring neighborhood – Child experiences caring neighbors.
  5. Caring school climate – Relationships with teachers and peers provide a caring, encouraging school environment.
  6. Parent involvement in schooling – Parent(s) are actively involved in helping the child succeed in school.

EMPOWERMENT

  1. Community values children – Child feels valued and appreciated by adults in the community.
  2. Children as resources – Child is included in decisions at home and in the community.
  3. Service to others – Child has opportunities to help others in the community.
  4. Safety – Child feels safe at home, at school, and in her or his neighborhood.

BOUNDARIES AND EXPECTATIONS

  1. Family boundaries – Family has clear and consistent rules and consequences and monitors the child’s whereabouts.
  2. School boundaries – School provides clear rules and consequences.
  3. Neighborhood boundaries – Neighbors take responsibility for monitoring the child’s behavior.
  4. Adult role models – Parent(s) and other adults in the child’s family, as well as nonfamily adults, model positive and responsible behaviors.
  5. Positive peer influence – Child’s closets friends model positive and responsible behaviors.
  6. High expectations – Parent(s) and teachers expect the child to do her or his best at school and in other activities.

CONSTRUCTIVE USE OF TIME

  1. Creative activities – Child participates in music, art, drama, or creative writing two or more times per week.
  2. Child programs – Child participates two or more times per week in co-curricular school activities or structured community programs for children.
  3. Religious community – Child attends religious programs or services one or more times per week.
  4. Time at home – Child spends some time most days both in high-quality interaction with parents and doing things at home other than watching TV or playing video games.

Internal Assets

COMMITMENT TO LEARNING

  1. Achievement motivation – Child is motivated and strives to do well in school.
  2. Learning engagement – Child is responsive, attentive, and actively engaged in learning at school and enjoys participating in learning activities outside of school.
  3. Homework – Child usually hand in homework on time.
  4. Bonding to adults at school – Child cares about teachers and other adults at school.
  5. Reading for pleasure – Child enjoys and engages in reading for fun most days of the week.

POSITIVE VALUES

  1. Caring – Parent(s) tell the child is it important to help other people.
  2. Equality and social justice – Parent(s) tell the child it is important to speak up for equal right for all people.
  3. Integrity – Parent(s) tell the child it is important to stand up for one’s beliefs.
  4. Honesty – Parent(s) tell the child it is important to tell the truth.
  5. Responsibility – Parent(s) tell the child it is important to accept personal responsibility for behavior.
  6. Healthy lifestyle – Parent(s) tell the child is it important to have good health habits and an understanding of healthy sexuality.

SOCIAL COMPETENCIES

  1. Planning and decision making – Child thinks about decisions and is usually happy with results of her or his decisions.
  2. Interpersonal competence – Child cares about and is affected by other people’s feelings, enjoys making friends, and when frustrated or angry, tried to calm her or himself.
  3. Cultural competence – Child knows and is comfortable with people of different racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds and with her or his own cultural identity.
  4. Resistance skills – Child can stay away from people who are likely to get her or him in trouble and is able to say no to do wrong or dangerous things.
  5. Peaceful conflict resolution – Child attempts to resolve conflict nonviolently.

POSITIVE IDENTITY

  1. Personal power – Child feels he or she has some influence over things that happen in her or his life.
  2. Self- Esteem – Child likes and is proud to be the person he or she is.
  3. Sense of purpose – Child sometimes thinks about what life means and whether there is a purpose for her or his life.
  4. Positive view of personal future – Child is optimistic about her or his personal future.
*In 2016, the average number of assets held by Danbury High School Students was 19.4 out of 40, a little higher than Nation-wide statistics. This means that out of the 40 developmental assets available to a child, students at Danbury High School manifest 19.4.