What Are Developmental Assets

Developmental Assets® are: 

Essential building blocks for the healthy development of children and youth.

Research Graphic

They include important aspects of a young person’s life such as

  • Support that they receive from adults in their home, school, and community
  • Feeling empowered to make decisions and influence their lives and the world around them
  • Having clear boundaries and expectations, so they know what should be doing, and what they should avoid
  • Being engaged in positive, constructive activities
  • Valuing education and learning, including feeling connected to their school
  • Positive values, including honesty, responsibility, integrity, caring and more
  • Social competencies – getting along well with others
  • Positive Identity – feeling good about themselves and their future.

Mother Teaching Child Writing You can review a list of the 40 Developmental Assets in English ; and 40 Elementos de Desarrollo

Want to see Assets in action? Take a few moments to view “Asset Minutes”, written, acted, and filmed by Arlington youth and adults.

Arlington uses the Developmental Assets as a framework because…

Assets are POSITIVE! They focus on supports we (families, schools and community) provide to young people through the relationships we have with them, the environment we create, and the activities we lead or expose them to, helping them become become caring, responsible, and productive adults.

Assets are MEASURABLE! We conduct a survey of youth every three years so we can know where to focus our energy. We know that the more ASSETS a young person has, the more likely he or she will be to make HEALTHY, POSITIVE CHOICES. In 2015 8%
of Arlington youth report the optimum number of assets (31-40). Learn about the power-of Assets in this slide show.

Child Playing With Toys Assets are INTENTIONAL. Simply put, the Developmental Assets are experiences, supports, and qualities that we provide for  young people at home, at school, and in the community that will help them grow and develop. The list includes: support of caring adults, clear boundaries, positive values, and high hopes for the future

Any adult in the community can help to build assets in young people–neighbors, teachers, youth leaders, religious leaders, or crossing guards. So… what can you do?   The Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth and Families encourages everyone in our community to be familiar with the 40 Developmental Assets® to better support young people throughout our community.

Search Institute identified the 40 Developmental Assets® through years of research on young people across the country.  Because of its basis in youth development, resiliency, and prevention research and its proven effectiveness, the Developmental Assets® framework has become one of the most widely used approaches to positive youth development in the United States. The framework has been adapted to be developmentally relevant from early childhood through adolescence.

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