Introduction: Outcome Measures


Survey Measures to Enhance the Developmental Assets Profile for Youth Program Evaluations

Search Institute’s Developmental Assets Profile (DAP) has become a widely used survey for assessing how young people experience eight categories of Developmental Assets®, with more than 500,000 youth having completed the survey. On its own, the DAP is being widely used around the world, and Search Institute works with organizations and community partnerships that wish to use the DAP for baseline measurement and ongoing monitoring of young people’s strengths and supports.

Some DAP users, however, may wish to go deeper in measuring some of the individual assets or related constructs. Using the DAP to provide a macro view of young people’s developmental ecology, supplemented by one of more of the measures described here, is an appropriate strategy for linking assets to more specific program goals and research questions.

The following table helps qualified researchers and evaluators identify supplementary Search Institute measures that are available for licensed use in research and evaluation projects. Search Institute can also partner with organizations to develop customized surveys that integrate these or other measures with the Developmental Assets Profile--and to provide consultation and assistance on using the data results for policy, program, and community action.

How to Use This Table

To use this table, identify the asset category or specific asset that is of interest in the table. You will see brief information about each. Once you have identified scales of interest, click on the name of the asset category to download more information about each of the scales related to that category, including a more detailed description of the items, response scales, and reliability and validity information for that measure.

Hover over the Learn more link next to the bullet points below to read information about each column in the table.

  • Asset Category | Learn MoreEach of the eight categories of Developmental Assets in Search Institute’s framework. These eight categories are measured with reliable and valid scales in the DAP.
  • Sub-Scale Measures | Learn MoreThe names of the supplementary measures that are available from Search Institute.
  • Specific Asset | Learn MoreThis column is checked if the scale measures a specific asset in Search Institute’s framework of 40 Developmental Assets.
  • Related Construct | Learn MoreThis column is checked if the scale measures a construct or idea that is not explicitly included in the asset framework, but is consistent with the research and theory supporting that category of assets.
  • Number of Items | Learn MoreHow many survey items are included in the scale.
  • Reliability | Learn MoreAn indication of the internal consistency of the available scale based on the following cut-off points (Chronbach’s alphas):

    Excellent = ≥.90

    Good = .80-.89

    Acceptable = .70-.79

    Promising = .60-.69

    Below standards =

  • Validity Data | Learn MoreWhether Search Institute has conducted studies that show meaningful correlations between the scales and other behavioral or psycho-social indicators of well-being.

    Once you identify a scale or scales that you wish to use in your evaluation or research project, contact Search Institute's Survey Services Coordinator, who will confirm that your team meets the criteria for using the scales and whether a licensing fee will be assessed.

    If you would prefer to partner with Search Institute's research team to design a study using these or other Search Institute measures (fee for service), contact Search Institute's Survey Services Coordinator to begin the process.


    Search Institute Sub-Scale Measures to Supplement Developmental Assets Profile (DAP)

     Asset Category  Sub-Scale Measures  Specific Asset  Related Construct   Number of Items   Reliability  Validity Data
      Family support  

       3  Good  No
       Other adult relationships  

       3  Good  Yes
       Caring school climate  

       10  Good  Yes
       Parent involvement in schooling   

       5  Acceptable  Yes
       Parental support & achievement values    

     5  Acceptable  No
       Community values youth  

       4  Acceptable  Yes
       Comfort expressing voice    

     3  Good  Yes
       Importance of civic engagement    

     3  Acceptable  
       Political activity    

     6  Good  
       Racial respect    

     6  Good  
    Boundaries & Expectations            
       High expectations  

       6  Acceptable  Yes
    Constructive Use of Time            
       Youth program participation  

       3   Below   Standards1  Yes
       Quality of youth programs    

     7  Good  Yes
       Use of neighborhood resources    

     9  Excellent  No
    Commitment to Learning            
       Achievement motivation  

       7  Excellent  Yes
       School engagement  

       12  Good  Yes
       Bonding to school  

       11  Good  Yes
       Mastery goals    

     3  Good  No
       Academic self-efficacy    

     3  Acceptable  No
     Positive Values            

       3  Acceptable   Yes
       Equality & social justice  

       3  Acceptable  Yes

       2  Good  No
       Moral courage    

     2  Good  No

       2  Acceptable  Yes

       2  Acceptable  Yes
       Prosocial values    

     4  Good  No
     Social Competencies          
       Interpersonal competence  

       2  Acceptable  Yes
       Cultural competence  

       3  Acceptable  Yes
       Positive emotionality     

     5  Good No 
     Positive Identity          
       Personal power   

       3  Good  No
       Taking initiative    

     7  Good  No

       4  Acceptable  Yes
       Hopeful purpose    

     6  Good  Yes

     1   n/a2  Yes
       Discovering meaning    

     12  Good  No
       Values ethnic identity    

     3  Promising No 


    1See Leffert et al. (1998) for explanation of why the low alpha is not unexpected.

    2Single item in one study, and an index rather than a scale in another, so alpha is not applicable.

    Leffert, N., Benson, P.L., Scales, P.C., Sharma, A.R., Drake, D.R., & Blyth, D.A. (1998). Developmental assets: Measurement and prediction of risk behaviors among adolescents. Applied Developmental Science, 2, 209-230.