“How Many of the 40 Developmental Assets Does Your Child Have?
And What Role Does Scouting Play?

Monthly blog on behalf of the Orange County Council Commissioner

John A. Hovanesian, M.D.
September 8, 2014

What is it that makes some young people grow up to be happy, successful, independent adults?  A growing list of studies suggest that a list of 40 “developmental assets," as first defined in 1990 by sociologist Peter Benson, are as close a set of predictors as you can define. A complete list of these assets can be downloaded here and every parent should be familiar with them.

The list of assets includes twenty “external” influences such as support coming from family, relationships with adults, school influences, empowerment, setting boundaries and expectations, and the constructive use of time. The “internal” category includes 20 more assets broken into categories of commitment to learning, positive values, social competence, and positive identity.

Rigorous studies in the peer-reviewed sociological literature show that the possession of at least 20 of these 40 assets among young people is a strong predictor of future success as a productive, happy adult than level of income, education, race, or culture. With fewer than 10, they’re at much higher risk of drug use, violence, and serving time in prison.

The 40 assets are sadly lacking from the lives of too many children in our country. Over the years, the Search Institute, a nonprofit devoted to “discovering what kids need to succeed” has surveyed more than two million Americans spanning the full economic, social, racial and geographic spectrum. In the studied group of more than two million American 12-18 year olds, more than two-thirds had fewer than 20 assets. This fact is very concerning for our country’s future.

So how does Scouting serve our asset-depleted nation? Take a look at the list, and you’ll agree that exposure to Scouting delivers nearly all of the 40 assets to some degree. Our organization, through structured outdoor activity, a high value placed on education, positive peer and adult role models, and a set of values to live by, gives children both internal and external assets as defined by the Search Institute’s 40 criteria.
If you have friends whose children are not in Scouting, please share this blog with them by clicking the links below . Post it to your Facebook or Twitter account, and share the good news about how Scouting delivers valuable assets to our children for a brighter future.

With fall recruitment launching this month, it's a great time for units to add more youth, parents and adult leaders. For more information on how to get involved and to join the Scouting family, visit Be A Scout

John A. Hovanesian, M.D.
OCBSA Commissioner

Update Be A Scout Information
Unit Key 3 Leaders: Since recruitment season is upon us, please be sure to check that your www.beascout.org information is both correct and current. For any questions you may have, contact Kim Whitaker, Council Registrar, at kimw@ocbsa.org or 714-546-8558 ext. 158.

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