The Developmental Assets

Students need more developmental assets in order to thrive and avoid risky behavior.

Our goal is to help our students attain and retain assets through a mentoring relationship.

What are the 40 Developmental Assets?

They are building blocks for raising healthy children and youth. Read all of the 40 Assets here.
Read a statement regarding Asset 19 here.

YMI’s 28 Developmental Assets

External Assets

  • Other adult relationships – Young person receives support from three or more non parent adults.
  • Services to others – Young person serves in the community on hour or more per week.
Boundaries & Expectations
  • Adult role models – Parent(s) and other adults model positive, responsible behavior.
  • Positive peer influence – Young person’s best friend’s model responsible behavior.
  • High Expectations – Both parent(s) and teachers encourage the young person to do well.
Constructive Use of Time
  • Creative activities – Young person spends three or more hours per week in lessons or practice in music, theater, or other arts.
  • Youth programs – Young person spends three or more hours per week in sports, clubs, or organizations at school and /or in the community.
  • Time at home – Young person is out with friends “with nothing special to do” two or fewer nights per week.


COmmitment to learning
  • Achievement Motivation—Young person is motivated to do well in school.
  • School Engagement—Young person is actively engaged in learning.
  • Homework—Young person reports doing at least one hour of homework every school day.
  • Bonding to school—Young person cares about her or his school.
  • Reading for Pleasure—Young person reads for pleasure three or more hours per week.
Positive Values
  • Caring—Young person places high value on helping other people.
  • Equality and social justice—Young person places high value on promoting equality and reducing hunger and poverty.
  • 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 personal responsibility.
  • Restraint—Young person believes it is important not to be sexually active or to use alcohol or other drugs.
  • Planning and decision making—Young person knows 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 backgrounds.
  • Resistance skills—Young person can resist negative peer pressure and dangerous situations.
  • Peaceful conflict resolution—Young person seeks to resolve conflict nonviolently.
  • Personal power—Young person feels he or she has control over “things that happen to me.”
  • Self-esteem—Young person reports having a high self-esteem.
  • Sense of purpose—Young person reports that “my life has a purpose.”
  • Positive view of personal future—Young person is optimistic about her or his personal future.


Healthy Behaviors


Risky Behaviors


The Power of Assets—Studies of more than 2.2 million young people in the United States consistently show that the more assets young people have, the less likely they are to engage in a wide range of high-risk behaviors and the more likely they are to thrive. Assets have power for all young people, regardless of their gender, economic status, family, or race/ethnicity*. The average young person experiences fewer than half of the 40 Assets (boys 17 vs. girls 19). Furthermore, levels of assets are better predictors of high-risk involvement and thriving than poverty or being from a single-parent family.