Developmental Assets

DEVELOPMENTAL ASSETS are the positive relationships, opportunities, values and skills that young people need to grow up caring and responsible.


Search Institute identified the 40 developmental assets as the essential building blocks of healthy child and youth development – including adult role models, positive peer influence, caring school climates and a sense that community values youth. The first 20 assets focus on positive experiences that children and young people receive from the people and socializing systems in their everyday lives. When these assets are provided by the formal and informal systems in a community they stimulate and nurture positive development in the youth.

There are four categories of external assets: support, empowerment, boundaries and expectations, constructive use of time. The 20 internal assets are those things that a community and a family nurture within children and youth so that they can contribute to their own personal development. These assets guide the choices and create a sense of centeredness, purpose and focus for young people.

There are four categories of internal assets: commitment to learning, positive values, social competencies, and positive identity.