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Search Institute's 40 Developmental Assets® are concrete,
common sense, positive experiences and qualities essential to
raising successful young people. These assets have the power
during critical adolescent years to influence choices young people make and help them become caring, responsible adults.

Why do some kids grow up with ease, while others struggle? Why do some kids get involved in dangerous activities, while others spend their time contributing to society? Why do some youth "beat the odds" in difficult situations, while others get trapped?

Many factors influence why some young people have successes in life and why others have a harder time. Economic circumstances, genetics, trauma, and many other factors play a role. But these factors-which seem difficult, if not impossible, to change-aren’t all that matters. Search Institute, a nonprofit, independent research organization based in Minneapolis,
Minnesota, has identified 40 concrete, positive experiences and qualities -- developmental assets--that have a tremendous influence on young people’s lives and choices. Research shows that the 40 developmental assets help young people make wise decisions, choose positive paths, and grow up competent, caring, and responsible.

The bad news is that the vast majority of young people in the United States - regardless of race or ethnicity, age, gender, cultural background, religion, or income level-experience too few of the assets. Indeed, on average, young people report experiencing just 18 of the 40 assets.

The good news is that everyone from all walks of life can help build assets. You don’t have to be a parent, a teacher, a youth worker, or a counselor (though these people certainly have important roles in asset building). You can be a child, teenager, single adult, parent, grandparent- anyone can build assets.

What are the Assets?

Why Build Assets?

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