External Assets


  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 advice and counsel from parents.
  3. Other Adult Relationships | Young person receives support from three or more non-parent adults.
  4. Caring Neighbourhood | Young person experiences caring neighbours.
  5. Caring School Climate | School provides a caring, encouraging environment.
  6. Parent Involvement in Schooling | Parent(s) are actively involved in helping the child 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 neighbourhood.

Boundaries and Expectations

  1. Family Boundaries | Family has clear rules and consequences and monitors the young person’s whereabouts.
  2. School Boundaries | School provides clear rules and consequences.
  3. Neighbourhood Boundaries | Neighbours take responsibility for monitoring young people’s behaviour.
  4. Adult Role Models | Parent(s) and other adults model positive, responsible behaviour.
  5. Positive Peer Influence | Young person's best friends model responsible behaviour.
  6. High Expectations | Both parent(s) and teachers encourage the young person to do well.

Constructive use of time

  1. Creative Activities | Young person spends three or more hours per 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 hour or more 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.

Internal Assets

Commitment to learning

  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.

Positive values

  1. Caring | Young Person places high value on helping other people.
  2. Equality and 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 to use alcohol or other drugs.

Social competencies

  1. Planning and 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.

Positive identity

  1. Personal Power | 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 a purpose."
  4. Positive View of Personal Future | Young person is optimistic about her or his personal future.



Information derived from the Search Institute: http://www.search-institute.org/content/40-developmental-assets-adolescents-ages-12-18
Reprinted with permission from Search Institute®. Copyright © 2008 Search Institute, Minneapolis , MN ; 800-888-7828; www.search-institute.org. All rights reserved.