Protective Factors for the College Years: Establishing the Appropriateness of the Developmental Assets Model for Emerging Adults
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In this article, we evaluate the appropriateness of the developmental assets model for college emerging adults and introduce the Young Adult Developmental Assets Survey (YADAS). Constructed as communication tools for adolescent resiliency, Search Institute’s developmental assets are reformulated here as 40 characteristics of university lifestyles promoting success and buffering risk for emerging adults. We investigated the YADAS’ reliability (via temporal consistency and internal consistency) and validity (via construct convergence and clinical criterions), and generally found evidence of strong psychometrics. The YADAS’ global assets score had a test-retest coefficient of r = .89 and a coefficient alpha of α = .90, and was also statistically significantly correlated to the majority of the thriving indicators (e.g., positive emotionality and spiritual wellbeing) and risk indicators (e.g., substance abuse and anti-social behavior) studied here. The global assets score also displayed meaningful links to mental health, with a coefficient of r = .50 with life satisfaction and r = −.35 with symptomatology. We conclude by discussing support for the use of the developmental assets model with this age range and life context, describing the YADAS’ strengths and limitations, and proposing strategies for utilizing the assets model in university contexts.
KeywordsYoung adults Positive youth development College students Resilience Mental health
Compliance with Ethical Standards
No grant funding was obtained or utilized for the completion of this study.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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