Is your child thriving?: 40 Developmental Assets for AdolescentsDSC_1505

When raising children, you may ask yourself, ‘how am I going to raise them into becoming thriving individuals?’ Well, research completed by the Search Institute can help you out.

The Search Institute is a nonprofit charitable corporation that staffs professional researchers who specialize in the study of strengths and support that successful young people possess. With years of analysis, data, and surveys from more than 4 million children and youth from all backgrounds and situations, this corporation has developed a framework in which identifies a set of skills, experiences, relationships, and behaviors that enable young people to develop into successful and contributing adults.

In this framework, they’ve established 40 Developmental Assets that are fundamental to a youth’s growth.

The more developmental assets your child acquires, the more likely they are to succeed. Success is a product of leading a happy and healthy life. Factors of a healthy and happy life include trust, support, encouragement, expectations, motivation, and encouraging other positive values. See the data that the Search Institute has listed below:



Provide Support

  1. Family Support – High levels of love and support
  2. Positive Family Communication –Positive communication, willingness to seek advice
  3. Other Adult Relationships –receives support from 3 or more nonparent adults
  4. Caring Neighborhood –experiences caring neighbors
  5. Caring School Climate –caring and encouraging learning environment
  6. Parent Involvement in Schooling– Actively involved to help your child succeed

Show Empowerment

  1. Community Values Youth –young person perceives that adults in community value youth
  2. Youth as Resources –Youth are given useful roles in community
  3. Service to Others – Youth person serves in the community one hour + per week
  4. Safety– Has a feeling of safety at home, school, and in the neighborhood

Boundaries and Expectations

  1. Family Boundaries –Rules, consequences, monitors young person’s whereabouts
  2. School Boundaries – School provides clear rules and consequences
  3. Neighborhood Boundaries – Neighbors monitor young people’s behavior
  4. Adult Model Role– Parents and other adults model responsible behavior
  5. Positive Peer Influence– Young person’s best friends model responsible behavior
  6. High Expectations –Both parents and teachers encourage the young to do well

Constructive Use of Time

  1. Creative Activities –Young person spends 3+ hours with music, theater, or arts
  2. Youth Programs –Young person spends 3+ hours in sports, clubs, organizations
  3. Religious Community –Young person spends 1+ hour with activities in religious institution
  4. Time at Home –Spending evenings at home with family 5 to 6 nights a week


Commitment to Learning

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

Positive Values

  1. Caring –places high value on helping other people
  2. Equality and Social Justice –places high value on promoting equality
  3. Integrity –acts on convictions and stands up for her or his beliefs
  4. Honesty – tells the truth even when it is not easy
  5. Responsibility –accepts and takes personal responsibility
  6. Restraint – Believes it is important not to be sexually active, use alcohol, or other drugs

Social Competence

  1. Planning and Decision Making –knows how to plan ahead and make choices
  2. Interpersonal Competence –has empathy, sensitivity, and friendship skills
  3. Cultural Competence –Has knowledge and comfort with people of different backgrounds
  4. Resistance Skills –Can resist negative peer pressure and dangerous situations
  5. Peaceful Conflict Resolution – Seeks to resolve conflict non violently

Positive Identity

  1. Personal Power –Feels he or she has control over “things that happen to me”
  2. Self-Esteem –Reports on having a high self-esteem
  3. Sense of Purpose –reports that “my life has a purpose”
  4. Positive View of Personal Future –Optimistic about his or her personal future

To learn more about the 40 Developmental Assets for Adolescents, visit their website, and see how you can take action!

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