The Search Institute has identified the following building blocks of healthy development that help young people grow up healthy, caring, and responsible.
CategoryAsset Name and Definition
Support Family support-Family life provides high levels of love and
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).
Other adult relationships-Young person receives support
from three or more non-parent adults.
Caring neighborhood-Young person experiences caring
Caring school climate-School provides a caring,
Parent involvement in schooling-Parent(s) are actively
involved in helping young person succeed in school.
Empowerment Community values youth-Young person perceives that
adults in the community value youth.
Youth as resources-Young people are given youthful
roles in the community.
Service to others-Young person serves in the community
one hour or more per week.
Safety-Young person feels safe at home, at school, and
in the neighborhood.
Boundaries & Family boundaries-Family has clear rules and
Expectations consequences and monitors the young person's
School boundaries-School provides clear rules and
Neighborhood boundaries-Neighbors take responsibility
for monitoring young people's behavior.
Adult role models-Parent(s) and other adults model
positive, responsible behavior.
Positive peer influence-Young person's best friends
High expectations-Both parent(s) and teachers encourage
the young person to do well.
Constructive Creative activities-Young person spends three or more
Use of Time theater, or other acts.
Youth programs-Young person spends three or more
hours per week in sports, clubs, or organizations at
school and/or in the community.
Religious community-Young person spends one or
more hours per week in activities in a religious institution.
Time at home-Young person is out with friends "with
nothing special to do" two or fewer nights per week.
Commitment Achievement motivation-Young person is motivated to
to Learning do well in school.
School engagement-Young person is actively engaged
Homework-Young person reports doing at least one hour
of homework every school day.
Bonding to school-Young person cares about her or his
Reading for pleasure-Young person reads for pleasure
three or more hours per week.
Positive Caring-Young person is motivated to do well in school.
Values Equality and social justice-Young person places high
value on promoting equality and reducing hunger and
Integrity-Young person acts on convictions and stands
up for her or his beliefs.
Honesty-Young person "tells the truth even when it
is not easy."
Responsibility-Young person accepts and takes
Restraint-Young person believes it is important not to
be sexually active or to use alcohol or other drugs.
Social Planning and decision making-Young person knows
Competencies how to plan ahead and make choices.
Interpersonal competence-Young person has
empathy, sensitivity, and friendship skills.
Cultural competence-Young person has knowledge of and
comfort with people of different cultural/racial/ethnic
Resistance skills-Young person can resist negative peer
pressure and dangerous situations.
Peaceful conflict resolution-Young person seeks to
resolve conflict nonviolently.
Positive Personal power-Young person feels he or she has
Identity control over "things that happen to me."
Self-esteem-Young person reports having a high
Sense of power-Young person reports that "my life
has a purpose."
Positive view of personal future-Young person is
optimistic about her or his personal future.