The Developmental Assets® are 40 common-sense, positive experiences and qualities that help influence choices young people make and help them become caring, responsible adults. Studies consistently show that the more assets young people have, the less likely they are to engage in a wide range of high-risk behaviours 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. Furthermore, levels of assets are better predictors of outcomes than, for example, poverty or being from a single-parent family. The Developmental Assets provide a means for articulating the attributes that CHARACTER ALWAYS VIRTUES or CATHOLIC GRADUATE EXPECTATIONS strive to instill in students.
The 40 Developmental Assets are divided into External and Internal Assets and further categorized into the following eight areas:
Students who have many Developmental Assets are able to realize the qualities endorsed in CHARACTER ALWAYS VIRTUES or CATHOLIC GRADUATE EXPECTATIONS.
When students are dealing with an asset deficit, they may not thrive in school settings. They struggle to accept boundaries on their behaviour because they have not experienced the positive effects of living in well-bounded environments. They do not see themselves as useful and valuable to others. They may have a hard time building genuine social relationships with others. And they are typically not committed to their own learning.
All of these deficits can be remedied by changing the social and environmental influences around a student, and the Developmental Assets provide clear strategies for doing so.