Building Assets to Support Young People
External assets relate to the support and empowerment that young people receive from their families and other key individuals in their homes, schools, and communities. Internal assets involve the development of inner values (such as caring, honesty, and integrity) as well as the formation of a positive self-identity, social competence, and a commitment to learning.
The asset-building approach is supported by extensive research in child and adolescent development. Research has shown that increased levels of assets are associated with positive behaviors such as academic success, maintaining good health, demonstrating leadership, and valuing diversity. The experience of assets also protects young people from high risk behaviors such as alcohol or drug abuse and violence. An asset-building approach to youth development has been successfully adopted by hundreds of schools and communities