Assets Build Strong Youth

The 40 Developmental Assets are a research-based framework that identifies basic building blocks of human development. We’ve found clear relationships between healthy youth outcomes and asset levels.

The results of 20 years of surveying over 3 million youth show that the more assets kids have, the better. Youth with high asset levels are less likely to engage in high-risk behaviors (such as violence, sexual activity, drug use, and suicide), and more likely to engage in thriving behaviors (such as helping others, doing well in school, and taking on leadership roles).

Assets are crucial for the health development of all youth, regardless of their community size, geographic region, gender, economic status, race, or ethnicity. Assets can be built in youth by anyone and everyone in the community, whether you know them or not.

The Developmental Assets in East Haddam

The Developmental Assets framework covers extensive territory, including the experiences of young people and their commitments, values, skills, and identity. To grasp the range and depth of concepts measured by asset framework model, we can divide assets into two key areas: External Assets and Internal Assets.

External Assets are the positive developmental experiences that families, schools, neighborhoods, community groups, and other youth and family-serving organizations provide young people. These positive experiences are reinforced and supported by the broader efforts of society through government police, health care providers, law enforcement agencies, civic foundations, and other community institutions.


Internal Assets are the positive commitments, skills, and values that form a young person’s inner guidance system. Youth make personal choices and actions based upon the degree to which their internal assets are developed.

Asset Development
How many assets does a young person need to be happy, make good decisions, get the most from school and feel appreciated by their community AND how many assets does a child need to resist engaging in risk-taking behaviors, such as use of alcohol and other drugs? How do they deal with the stress of growing up in today’s world?

Experiences, qualities and relationships influence the choices our kids make and allows our kids to be strong, safe and substance free.

For more information on our Search Institute Results, please contact: or call 860-873-3296.

2016 Search Institute Survey Results