Key assets that facilitate positive youth development

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Personal and Social Assets That Facilitate Positive Youth Development

The following list is an excerpt from the book ‘Community Programs to Promote Youth Development’ and shares a comprehensive list of areas in which come together to promote a youth who is flourishing in society. It is important when working with youth that we focus on all areas of their development to ensure we spend time to highlight and promote those ares of their life which are working and not only focus on those which are not.

Physical Development

• Good health habits
• Good health risk management skills

Intellectual Development

• Knowledge of essential life skills
• Knowledge of essential vocational skills
• School success
• Rational habits of mind-critical thinking and reasoning skills
• In-depth knowledge of more than one culture
• Good decision-making skills
• Knowledge of skills needed to navigate through multiple cultural contexts

Psychological and Emotional Development

• Good mental health, including positive self-regard
• Good emotional self-regulation skills
• Good coping skills
• Good conflict resolution skills
• Mastery motivation and positive achievement motivation
• Confidence in one’s personal efficacy
• “Planfulness” – planning for the future and future life events
• Sense of personal autonomy/responsibility for self
• Optimism coupled with realism
• Coherent and positive personal and social identity
• Pro-social and culturally sensitive values
• Spirituality or a sense of a “larger” purpose in life
• Strong moral character
• A commitment to good use of time

Social Development

• Connected with a perceived good relationships and trust with parents, peers an some other adults
• Sense of social place/integration-being connected and valued by larger social networks
• Attachment to pro-social/conventional institutions, such as school, church, non-school youth programs
• Ability to navigate in multiple cultural contexts
• Commitment to civic engagement



National Research Council and Institute of Medicine (2002). Community Programs to Promote Youth Development. National Academies Press, Washington, D.C. LINK

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