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AK: 40 Developmentl Assets-a framework for supporting children and communities

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The 40 Developmental Asset framework is categorized into two groups of twenty assets each—external and internal. According to the Search Institute, an independent nonprofit organization providing resources to promote healthy children, youth, and communities, "These twenty assets are about supporting and empowering young people, about setting boundaries and expectations, and about positive and constructive use of young people's time."

External assets support

  • Family support: Family life provides high levels of love and support.
  • Positive family communication: Youth is willing to seek advice and counsel from parents and extended family.
  • Other adult relationships: Youth receives support from several nonparent adults.
  • Caring neighborhood/community: Youth experiences caring neighborhood and community.
  • Caring school climate: School provides a caring, encouraging enviornment.
  • Parent involvement in school: Parents are actively involved in helping youth
    succeed in school.


  • Community values youth: Youth believes that community adults value young people.
  • Youth given useful roles: Youth are taught and given useful roles in community.
  • Youth volunteers in the community: Youth gives one or more hour per week to serving the community.
  • Safety: Youth feels safe in home, school, and neighborhood.

Boundaries and expectations

  • Family boundaries: Family is clear about rules and consequences for youth.
  • School boundaries: School provides clear rules and consequences.
  • Neighborhood boundaries: Neighbors take responsibility for monitoring youth.
  • Adult role models: Parents, Elders, and other adults model positive behavior.
  • Positive peer influence: Youth's close friends model responsible behavior.
  • High expectations: Parents and teachers encourage youth to do well.

Constructive use of time

  • Creative and cultural activities: Youth is involved in three or more hours per week in creative or cultural activities.
  • Youth programs: Youth spends one hour or more each week in sports, clubs, or other school or community organizations.
  • Religious community: Youth is involved in one or more hours per week in religious services or spiritual activities.
  • Time at home: Youth is out with friends "with nothing special to do" two or fewer nights per week.

Internal assets commitment to learning

  • Achievement motivation: Youth is motivated to do well in school.
  • School engagement: Youth is actively engaged in learning.
  • Homework: Youth reports doing one or more hours of homework per day.
  • Bonding to school: Youth cares about his or her school.
  • Reading for pleasure: Youth reads for pleasure three or more hours per week.

Positive values

  • Caring: Youth places high value on freely helping other people.
  • Equality and social justice: Youth places high value on promoting equality and reducing hunger and poverty.
  • Integrity: Youth acts on convictions and stands up for beliefs.
  • Honesty Youth tells the truth even when it is not easy.
  • Responsibility: Youth accepts and takes personal responsibility for his or her actions.
  • Restraint: Youth believes it is important not to be sexually active or use alcohol or drugs.

Social skills

  • Planning and decision-making: Youth has skills to plan ahead and make responsible choices.
  • Interpersonal skills: Youth has empathy, sensitivity, communication and friendship skills.
  • Cultural competence: Youth knows and is comfortable with people of different cultural, racial, and ethnic backgrounds.
  • Resistance skills: Youth can resist negative peer pressure and dangerous community influences.
  • Peaceful conflict resolution: Youth seeks to resolve conflict without resorting to violence.

Positive identity

  • Personal power: Youth feels in control over "many things that happen to me."
  • Self-esteem: Youth reports having high self-esteem.
  • Sense of purpose: Youth reports that "my life has a purpose."
  • Positive view of personal future: Youth is optimistic about his or her personal future.

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