Caring for others helps build positive values in young people

Values become an inner compass that young people can use to guide them.

This is the seventh in a series of posts that take a closer look at the developmental assets that are at the foundation of the AstraZeneca Young Health Program: IM40.  The three most recent posts may be found here, here and here.

Today’s post explores “positive values” as a category of internal assets or those personal values, competencies and experiences that come from within.

What are positive values?

Values are those worthwhile principles, standards, and qualities in children and young people that help make them strong. According to Search Institute, values become an inner compass that young people can use to guide them in making choices in a confusing world.

The six positive values assets

The developmental assets framework includes six positive values assets that are one way of naming a set of positive principles, standard, and qualities:

  1. Caring – Young person places high value on helping other people.
  2. Equality and Social Justice – Young person places high values on promoting equality and reducing hunger and poverty.
  3. Integrity – Young person acts on convictions and stands up for her or his beliefs.
  4. Honesty – Young person “tells the truth even when it is not easy.”
  5. Responsibility – Young person accepts and takes personal responsibility.
  6. Restraint – Young person believes it is important not to be sexually active or to use alcohol or other drugs.

Assets in action: Tamy’s story

AstraZeneca’s Tamy Raina says “you can’t keep me away” from the Ronald McDonald House. Here Tamy shares how in caring for others, she gains great personal fulfillment and strength from the families she spends time with who stay there.

Ideas for building positive values

The following tips are courtesy of Search Institute:

  • Model the positive values assets.
  • Talk to people – young and old – in respectful ways.
  • Discuss equality and social justice issues on a regular basis.
  • Choose a cause that you and a young person both care about. Select a project you can do together to further your cause.
  • Notice and comment when a young person’s behaviors reflect these positive values.
  • Take responsibility for your own actions. Apologize to young people when your actions don’t quite measure up to these values.
  • Coach and role-play communication skills that support using restraint and making healthy choices.

For more information about the Young Health Program: IM40, visit To connect with other asset builders on Twitter, use #YHP40 or visit us on Facebook.