Search Institute has identified 40 positive experiences and qualities called “Developmental Assets,” that all of us have the power to bring into the lives of children and youth. For many, these assets have become the source of ideas and inspiration.
“Assets” is another word for strengths. Research conducted by the Search Institute has identified 40 concrete, positive experiences and qualities – “Developmental Assets” – that have a tremendous positive influence on young people’s ability to succeed. The Search Institute’s research has concluded that these assets both protect young people from problem behaviors and promote positive attitudes and behaviors. The 40 Developmental Assets are grouped into eight categories: support, empowerment, boundaries and expectations, constructive use of time, commitment to learning, positive values, social competencies, and positive identity. Research indicates that the more assets a young person has the greater the chance that he or she will experience success in school and in life.
Developmental Assets provides a concrete means for all of us to engage in activities that support our youth. It is not a program. It is a philosophy and a way of behaving. Kitsap County has embraced Developmental Assets and has created the “It’s Time for Kitsap Kids” initiative with the goal of utilizing Developmental Assets as a common language and philosophy for supporting the children and youth of Kitsap County. The South Kitsap School District has also embraced this philosophy as have members of the South Kitsap community.
There is currently a community-based Developmental Assets Next Steps committee that is promoting this philosophy in our community and developing plans for surveying our youth to determine what assets our students perceive are strong and which assets need strengthening in South Kitsap. If you’d like to get involved with this group, you can contact our Community Relations office at 360-874-7003 for more information.
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 parent(s).
3. Other Adult Relationships - Young person receives support from three or more non-parent adults.
4. Caring Neighborhood - Young person experiences caring neighbors.
5. Caring School Climate - School provides a caring, encouraging environment.
6. Parent Involvement in Schools - Parent(s) are actively involved in helping young person succeed in school.
7. Community Values Youth - Young person perceives that adults in the community value youth.
8. Youth as Resources - Young people are given useful roles in the community. 9. Service to Others - Young person serves in the community one hour or more per week.
10. Safety - Young person feels safe at home, at school, and in neighborhood.
BOUNDARIES & EXPECTATIONS
11. Family Boundaries - Family has clear rules and consequences and monitors the young person’s whereabouts.
12. School Boundaries - School provides clear rules and consequences.
13. Neighborhood Boundaries - Neighbors take responsibility for monitoring young people’s behavior.
14. Adult Role Models - Parent(s) and other adults model positive, responsible behavior.
15. Positive Peer Influence - Young person’s best friends model responsible behavior.
16. High Expectations - Both parent(s) and teachers encourage the young person to do well.
CONSTRUCTIVE USE OF TIME
17. Creative Activities - Young person spends three or more hours per week in lessons or practice in music, theater, or other arts.
18. Youth Programs - Young person spends three or more hours per week in sports, clubs, or organizations at school and/or in the community.
19. Religious Community - Young person spends one or more hours per week in activities in a religious institution.
20. Time at Home - Young person is out with friends “with nothing special to do” two or fewer nights per week.
COMMITMENT TO LEARNING
21. Achievement Motivation - Young person is motivated to do well in school.
22. School Engagement - Young person is actively engaged in learning.
23. Homework - Young person reports doing at least one hour of homework every school day.
24. Bonding to School - Young person cares about his or her school.
25. Reading for Pleasure - Young person reads for pleasure three or more hours per week.
26. Caring - Young person places high value on helping people.
27. Equality and Social Justice - Young person places high value on promoting equality and reducing hunger and poverty.
28. Integrity - Young person acts on convictions and stands up for her or his beliefs.
29. Honesty - Young person “tells the truth even when it’s not easy.”
30. Responsibility - Young person accepts and takes personal responsibility.
31. Restraint - Young person believes it is important not to be sexually active or to use
alcohol or other drugs.
32. Planning and Decision-Making - Young person knows how to plan ahead and make choices.
33. Interpersonal Competence - Young person has empathy, sensitivity, and friendship skills.
34. Cultural Competence - Young person has knowledge of and comfort with people of different cultural/racial/ethnic backgrounds.
35. Resistance Skills - Young person can resist negative peer pressure and dangerous situations.
36. Peaceful Conflict Resolution - Young person seeks to resolve conflict nonviolently.
37. Personal Power - Young person feels he or she has control over “things that happen to me.”
38. Self-Esteem - Young person reports having high self-esteem.
39. Sense of Purpose - Young person reports that “my life has a purpose.”
40. Positive View of Personal Future - Young person is optimistic about her or his personal future.