Commentary: How many assets do you have?

Megan Albanese, STEPS Coalition outreach manager

The Southington STEPS Coalition is our community’s substance abuse prevention coalition. One of the ways we make prevention a priority is through youth asset development.

According to our recent 2018 Search Institute Attitudes and Behaviors student survey, Southington students in grades 7, 9 and 11 have an average of 21.9 out of 40 developmental assets. Developmental assets are positive building blocks youth need to succeed. The more assets young people have, the more likely they will grow up to be healthy and successful. Our target goal is for all students to have between 31 and 40 and although we have improved through the years, we still have a lot of work ahead.

If you are between the ages of 12 and 17, answer the questions below in regards to your life at this current moment. If you are an adult taking this test, answer the questions by thinking back to your situation when you were between the ages of 12 and 17.

At the end, count the number of yes’s and that will be an estimate of how many of the 40 developmental assets you have.

  • Do you feel your family loves and supports you? Yes/No
  • Do you have a family member or adult at home to ask for help or advice? Yes/No
  • Do you have 3 or more adults (besides your parents) who you can go to for help? Yes/No
  • Do you have caring neighbors? Yes/No
  • Does your school provide a caring, encouraging environment? Yes/No
  • Is there a parent or adult at home who is helping you succeed in school? Yes/No
  • Do you think adults in the community think Southington kids are important? Yes/No
  • Do you feel involved in the Southington community? Yes/No
  • Do you volunteer at least one hour per week? Yes/No
  • Do you feel safe at home and in your neighborhood? Yes/No
  • At home, are there clear rules and consequences? Yes/No
  • At school, are there clear rules and consequences? Yes/No
  • Do your neighbors “keep an eye” on your behavior? Yes/No
  • Do the adults in your life set a good example? Yes/No
  • Do your best friends act responsibly? Yes/No
  • Do you feel adults have high expectations for you to do well? Yes/No
  • Do you spend three or more hours per week participating in music, theater or the arts? Yes/No
  • Do you spend three or more hours per week participating in community activities such as sports, clubs or organizations? Yes/No
  • Do you spend one or more hours per week participating in religious activities? Yes/No
  • When you are at home, do you have something positive to do? Yes/No
  • Are you motivated to do well in school? Yes/No
  • Are you actively participating in learning? Yes/No
  • Do you complete assigned homework? Yes/No
  • Do you care about your school? Yes/No
  • Do you read for pleasure three or more hours per week? Yes/No
  • Do you think it is important to help other people? Yes/No
  • Do you treat people equally? Yes/No
  • If your friends made a negative decision that you did not agree with, would you let them know your feelings? Yes/No
  • Do you “tell the truth” even when it is not easy? Yes/No
  • Do you accept and take personal responsibility for your behavior? Yes/No
  • Do you believe it is important not to use alcohol or other drugs? Yes/No
  • Do you organize your time and follow through with your plan? Yes/No
  • Are you able to “put yourself in other people’s shoes” to understand their feelings? Yes/No
  • Are you comfortable with people of different cultural/racial/ethnic backgrounds? Yes/No
  • Do you resist negative peer pressure? Yes/No
  • Do you seek to resolve conflict without violence? Yes/No
  • Do you feel you have control over your life? Yes/No
  • Do you feel you have high self-esteem? Yes/No
  • Do you feel your life has meaning? Yes/No
  • Are you optimistic about your personal future? Yes/No

How many assets do you have? Who in your life helped build your assets? Let us know on our Facebook page and keep a lookout for our article next month on ways YOU can help the youth in our community reach our goal of 31-40 assets.

For more information, please visit

Megan Albanese is the Southington STEPS Coalition outreach coordinator. She can be reached at (860) 276-6281 or

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