The 40 Developmental Assets

TheDevelopmental Assets are 40® research-based, positive qualities thatinfluence young people’s development, helping them become caring, responsible,and productive adults. Based in youth development, resiliency, and preventionresearch, the Developmental Assets framework has proven to be effective and hasbecome the most widely used approach to positive youth development in theUnited States and, increasingly, around the world. 

Who needs them?

Assetsmatter for youth from many backgrounds and contexts. The framework hasbeen adapted to be developmentally relevant from early childhood throughadolescence for every gender, socioeconmic status, race/ethnicity, and specialneeds status. The positive power of assets is evident across all culturaland socioeconomic groups of youth in the United States as well as other partsof the world. 

Why are they important?

Accordingto the Search Insitute, over time, studies of more than 4 million young peopleconsistently show that the more assets that young people have, the less likelythey are to engage in a wide range of high-risk behaviors and the more likelythey are to thrive. Levels of assets are better predictors of high-riskinvolvement and thriving than poverty, family structure, or other demographicdifference. Research shows that youth with the most assets are leastlikely to engage in high-risk behaviors. When they have higher levels ofassets, they are more likely to do well in school, be civically engaged, andvalue diversity. The average young person experiences fewer thanhalf of the 40 assets.