Note:  Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Peter C. Scales, Ph.D., 940 Chestnut Ridge Road, Manchester, MO 63021 USA; email: [email protected]
Abstract: Both individual and ecological influences are implicated as factors linked to youth violence. In this paper, we conduct analyses on several databases of 6th-12th grade students in the United States, to explore the linkage of positive relationships, opportunities, skills, and values, called Developmental Assets, to prevention of youth aggressive and violent behaviors. Both cross-sectional and longitudinal data show that high levels of 40 developmental assets are associated with lower levels of aggression and violence. Several individual assets also are especially meaningful contributors to those aggression and violence outcomes, suggesting a positive role both for the overall accumulation of positive developmental experiences and for specific kinds of developmental nutrients. The data suggest that developmental assets appear to operate to reduce aggression and violence by providing young people with the relationships, opportunities, and skills needed for social integration.