Vice President, Research and Development

Gene Roehlkepartain leads a team of researchers, practitioners, and other specialists to design and implement research projects, collaborative partnerships, and field initiatives that explore the role of developmental relationships in advancing youth well-being, development, and thriving. Roehlkepartain is widely recognized for his expertise in child, youth, and family development in community contexts. He has particular expertise in family strengths and engagement, positive youth development, international youth development, and spiritual development.

Since joining Search Institute in 1991, Roehlkepartain has contributed to the organization’s groundbreaking work on developmental relationships, Developmental Assets, youth thriving, and community-wide approaches to child, youth, and family well-being. He is author, co-author, or named editor of more than 200 publications, including 17 books and numerous reports, scientific articles or chapters, and articles for practitioners and the public. He is the primary author of Search Institute’s family engagement resource, Keep Connected: Strengthening Families by Strengthening Relationships.



Roehlkepartain’s doctorate from the University of Minnesota is in education: curriculum and instruction, with a focus on the intersection of family, youth, and community development.



  • Linking and aligning youth, family, and community development
  • Youth development in a global context
  • Family strengths and family engagement
  • Service-learning and youth philanthropy
  • Integrating research and practice


Selected Recent Publications

Syvertsen, A. K., Roehlkepartain, E. C., & Scales, P. C. (2012). The American family assets study. Minneapolis, MN: Search Institute.

Roehlkepartain, E. C., Benson, P. L., Scales, P. C. (2011). Spiritual identity: Contextual perspectives. In S. J. Schwartz, K. Luyckx, & V. L. Vignoles (Eds.). The handbook of identity theory and research: Vol. 2—Domains and categories (pp. 545- 562). New York: Springer.

Scales, P. C., Roehlkepartain, E. C., & Benson, P. L. (2010).Teen voice 2010: Relationships that matter to America’s 15-year-olds.Minneapolis and Richfield, MN: Search Institute and Best Buy Children’s Foundation.

Roehlkepartain, E. C., King, P. E., Wagener, L. M., & Benson, P. L. (Eds.) (2006). The handbook of spiritual development in childhood and adolescence. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Mannes, M., Roehlkepartain, E. C., & Benson, P. L. (2005). Unleashing the power of community to strengthen the well being of children, youth, and families: An asset-building approach. Child Welfare, 84 (2), 233-250.


  • Ph.D. in Education, Curriculum, and Instruction (Family, Youth, and Community specialization), University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • B.A., Journalism and Religion, Baylor University, Waco, Texas


Keynotes & Presentations

Parenting for the Long Haul: Everyday Strategies for Creating a Positive Future with Your Kids – ParentFurther Webinar

The Ordinary Magic of Modern Families: New, National Research on Family Strengths – ParentFurther Webinar


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