The Developmental Assets®
The Developmental Assets® are 40 research-based, positive experiences and qualities that influence young people’s development, helping them become caring, responsible, and productive adults. Based in youth development, resiliency, and prevention research, the Developmental Assets framework has proven to be effective and has become the most widely used approach to positive youth development in the United States and, increasingly, around the world. The framework has been adapted to be developmentally relevant from early childhood through adolescence.
Who needs them? Why are they important?
Over time, studies of more than 5 million young people consistently show that the more assets that young people have, the less likely they are to engage in a wide range of high-risk behaviors and the more likely they are to thrive. Research shows that youth with the most assets are least likely to engage in four different patterns of high-risk behavior, including problem alcohol use, violence, illicit drug use, and sexual activity. When they have higher levels of assets, they are more likely to do well in school, be civically engaged, and value diversity.
The positive power of assets is evident across all cultural and socioeconomic groups of youth in the United States as well as other parts of the world. Furthermore, levels of assets are better predictors of high-risk involvement and thriving than poverty, family structure, or other demographic difference. However, the average young person experiences fewer than half of the 40 assets.