Printer Friendly Version of /ahi/assetcat.asp

WV OMCFH - Adolescent Health Initiative - Asset Categories

Asset Categories 

Picture of Happy Teens

Across the nation, Search has surveyed more than two million students in grades 6-12, and the data shows that the assets are powerful influences on the behavior of teenagers.  Assets not only promote positive behaviors, they also protect teens; in other words, the more assets a youth reports having, the less likely a teen is to make harmful or unhealthy choices.  The researchers at Search Institute have found that most young people have an average of 19 assets.   Although Search recognizes that there is no “magic number” of assets teens should have, the data suggest that 31 assets is a good goal.  The key is to intentionally help teens develop and build assets.  Asset building can occur anywhere, anytime, everyday. A few thoughts to consider: 

  • consistent messages are important,
  • all youth need more assets,
  • strong relationships between adults and youth, teens and their peers, and teens and children are central to asset building,
  • asset building is a life long process, from birth to the golden years,
  • consistent messages are important, from home to school, to media, to community,
  • intentionally build assets, discuss the importance of each asset, and develop caring relationships with teens

You can build assets at home, in your neighborhood, at school, and in your community.  Contact your Regional Adolescent Health Coordinator to learn more about the power of the 40 developmental assets today.

The first four asset categories tell young people that you care about them.
Support - Young people need to be surrounded by people who love, care for, appreciate, and accept them.
Empowerment - Young people need to feel valued and valuable. This happens when youth feel safe and respected.
Boundaries & Expectations - Young people need clear rules, consistent consequences for breaking rules, and encouragement to do their best.
Use of Time -
Young people need opportunities—outside of school—to learn and develop new skills and interests with other youth and adults.
The next four asset categories help young people learn
Commitment to Learning - Young people need a sense of the lasting importance of learning and a belief in their own abilities.
Positive Values - Young people need to develop strong guiding values or principles to help them make healthy life choices.
Social Competencies - Young people need the skills to interact effectively with others, to make difficult decisions, and to cope with new situations
Positive Identity - Young people need to believe in their  own self worth and to feel that they have control over the things that happen to them.

Want to know more about the developmental asset, check out this link!


The Asset Approach, for educational, non-commercial purposes - PDF File

Reprinted with permission from The Asset Approach (Minneapolis, MN: Search Institute). Copyright © Search Institute, 2002.  All rights reserved..

Copyright (C) 2005 Patricia Snodgrass
This page was printed from