Search Institute is a research organization dedicated to children, youth, families, and communities. They have identified the following building blocks of healthy development for children and adolescents – known as Developmental Assets – to promote their health, caring, and responsibility.
Family Support | Family life provides high levels of love and support.
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.
Other Adult Relationships | Young person receives support from three or more non-parent adults.
Caring Neighborhood | Young person experiences caring neighbors.
Caring School Climate | School provides a caring, encouraging environment.
Parent Involvement in Schooling | Parent(s) are actively involved in helping the child succeed in school.
Community Values Youth | Young person perceives that adults in the community value youth.
Youth as Resources | Young people are given useful roles in the community.
Service to Others | Young person serves in the community one hour or more per week.
Safety | Young person feels safe at home, school, and in the neighborhood.
Boundaries & Expectations
Family Boundaries | Family has clear rules and consequences and monitors the young person’s whereabouts.
School Boundaries | School provides clear rules and consequences.
Neighborhood Boundaries | Neighbors take responsibility for monitoring young people’s behavior.
Adult Role Models | Parent(s) and other adults model positive, responsible behavior.
Positive Peer Influence | Young person's best friends model responsible behavior.
High Expectations | Both parent(s) and teachers encourage the young person to do well.
Constructive Use of Time
Creative Activities | Young person spends three or more hours per week in lessons or practice in music, theater, or other arts.
Youth Programs | Young person spends three or more hours per week in sports, clubs, or organizations at school and/or in community organizations.
Religious Community | Young person spends one hour or more per week in activities in a religious institution.
Time at Home | Young person is out with friends "with nothing special to do" two or fewer nights per week.
Commitment to Learning
Achievement Motivation | Young person is motivated to do well in school.
School Engagement | Young person is actively engaged in learning.
Homework | Young person reports doing at least one hour of homework every school day.
Bonding to School | Young person cares about her or his school.
Reading for Pleasure | Young person reads for pleasure three or more hours per week.
Caring | Young Person places high value on helping other people.
Equality and Social Justice | Young person places high value on promoting equality and reducing hunger and poverty.
Integrity | Young person acts on convictions and stands up for her or his beliefs.
Honesty | Young person "tells the truth even when it is not easy."
Responsibility | Young person accepts and takes personal responsibility.
Restraint | Young person believes it is important not to be sexually active or to use alcohol or other drugs.
Planning and Decision Making | Young person knows how to plan ahead and make choices.
Interpersonal Competence | Young person has empathy, sensitivity, and friendship skills.
Cultural Competence | Young person has knowledge of and comfort with people of different cultural/racial/ethnic backgrounds.
Resistance Skills | Young person can resist negative peer pressure and dangerous situations.
Peaceful Conflict Resolution | Young person seeks to resolve conflict nonviolently.
Personal Power | Young person feels he or she has control over "things that happen to me."
Self-Esteem | Young person reports having a high self-esteem.
Sense of Purpose | Young person reports that "my life has a purpose."
Positive View of Personal Future | Young person is optimistic about her or his personal future.
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