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Developmental Assets

The Y: We’re for youth development.  We are a powerful association of men, women and children joined together with a commitment to nurturing the potential of kids.  We believe that lasting personal and social change can only come about when we all work together to invest in our kids. That’s why, at the Y, strengthening community is our cause.

With the help of dedicated staff and volunteers, we are working to strengthen community through programs focused on the positive development of all kids.  In order to do that, we have adopted the 40 developmental assets as our frame work.  The Developmental Assets, created by the Search Institute, are the positive values, relationships, skills and experiences that help children and teens thrive. Young people with high asset levels are most likely to make healthy choices, while lower asset levels are more likely to get involved with negative or risky behaviors.  These assets create a framework for impact that we use in every program, game and interaction with youth.  

The power of assets must be a part of every aspect of life in order to promote positive behavior and protect youth from risky decisions.  Parents, teachers and other adult role models have the most influence on the successful development of young people. Please take some time to find out more about how the Y builds strong kids and how you can too.

You can be and asset builder.  You can make a difference in the lives of young people.  Join the cause!

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List of 40 Developmental Assets

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 SCHOOLING 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, school, and in the neighborhood.
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.
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.
For elementary school students: Young person spends some time most days both in high-quality interaction with parents and doing things at home other than watching TV or playing video games.
For middle and high school students: Young person is out with friends “with nothing special to do” two or fewer nights per week.
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 her or his 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 other people.
27. EQUALITY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE Young person places high value on promoting equality and reducing hunger and poverty.
28. INTEGRITY Young person stands up for her or his beliefs.
29. HONESTY Young person “tells the truth even when it is not easy.”
30. RESPONSIBILITY Young person believes accepts and takes personal responsibility.
31. HEALTHY LIFESTYLE (elementary school students): Parent(s) tell the child it is important to have good health habits.
31. RESTRAINT (middle and high school students)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 a 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/his personal future.

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Ann Arbor, MI 48103 (Map)
(734) 996-9622

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