Family Strengths

Parents and families need to hear more about what they are doing right. The fact is, most parents do a lot right, even though they face a barrage of messages that emphasize what’s wrong with today’s families. That’s why it so important for parents and caregivers to learn about family strengths and how those actions and attitudes really count as they nurture their children.

Search Institute’s family strengths work evolved from The American Family Assets Study. The study presents a compelling national portrait of families, and introduces the Family Assets—relationships, interactions, opportunities, and values—that help families thrive. The study blends the perspectives of teens and parenting adults into how a wide range of diverse families experience both strengths and gaps in Family Assets. Search Institute’s Family Assets Framework highlights five dimensions that really matter:

  • Nurturing RELATIONSHIPS
  • Establishing ROUTINES
  • Maintaining EXPECTATIONS
  • ADAPTING to challenges
  • Connecting to COMMUNITY

The good news is, these strengths are more commonly associated with young people’s well-being than the family’s structure, income, education, immigrant status, community type, and other demographic factors. Furthermore, these strengths are present in all types of families, and all types of families can be more intentional about nurturing them. Download the documents below to learn more about The American Family Assets Study.

The American Family Assets Study, Amy K. Syvertsen, Eugene C. Roehlkepartain, and Peter C. Scales

Current Projects

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Research Publications

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NOTE: Many of the periodicals listed here may be downloaded or purchased through links provided. Journal articles and book chapters are available through their publishers. Most can be accessed through databases or through the publisher’s websites (often with a fee).