Developmental relationships, social emotional learning, DEI

By Kent Pekel, Ed.D. Nearly a decade ago, an important meta-analysis showed that implementing high-quality social and emotional learning (SEL) programs in schools can lead to significant increases in students’ academic and behavioral outcomes (Durlak et al, 2011). Partly as a result of that study and others like it, thousands of schools and out-of-school time […]


By Kent Pekel, Ed.D., President and CEO, Search Institute Since George Floyd’s murder in May, a wide array of organizations – from Fortune 500 corporations to large and small non-profits – have issued statements that expressed outrage at his senseless death and solidarity with people who have protested that injustice. Many of those statements committed […]

muti generational relationships faith

By Clare Eisenberg, Research Associate at Search Institute As one of the few places where multiple generations from different families gather together (Azzopardi, 2018), faith communities are unique settings for relationship building. Plenty of scholars have suggested that these relationships instill stronger faith in young people, ensure continued engagement in the congregation, or provide supports […]

racism MSP

By Kent Pekel, President & CEO, Search Institute  Last Wednesday, May 27, I sent out a statement that articulated Search Institute’s opposition to the murder of George Floyd in our home community of Minneapolis. We received many positive responses, but a number of people shared concerns that make me wish the statement were written differently. […]

Parenting in Pandemic

By Eugene C. Roehlkepartain, PhD, Vice President, Research and Development It has been heartwarming to watch as people around the world joined #ClapBecauseWeCare to cheer essential workers as they left their daily shifts, such as the 7 p.m. citywide cheer in New York City. Ever since this well-deserved ritual began in Wuhan, China, in January, […]

social capital

With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Equitable Futures initiative, Search Institute is working with several other partners in the larger project known as Social Capital Assessment and Learning for Equity (SCALE). We’re developing and refining useful measures of “social capital” for programs designed to enhance postsecondary and employment opportunities for youth and […]

By Ellen Bergstrom, Project Coordinator for the Relationships for Outcomes (ROI) Initiative In early March, just before non-essential travel was cancelled and daily life in the U.S. changed dramatically with the COVID-19 pandemic, I traveled to San Pedro, California to visit Toberman Neighborhood Center, which joins with National Center for Families Learning as part of […]


By Rachel Chamberlain, Search Institute Research Associate What needs to happen in your life for you to feel that it is going well? In this time of social isolation, sickness, and job loss due to COVID-19, our minds might jump to our basic needs. We might also feel pain from a loss of in-person interactions, […]

By Terri Sullivan, Ed.D., Search Institute’s Director of Applied Qualitative Research & Community Mobilization    Peers are necessities, not luxuries in human development.” (Hartup, 2009, p. 3) We know intuitively, and research affirms, that peer relationships play powerful roles in young people’s lives. Research points unequivocally to positive peer relationships as critical resources for youth […]

By Amy K. Syvertsen, PhD, Director of Applied Quantitative Research and Senior Research Scientist Social distancing efforts have led us to see connection as a threat rather than a strength. Yet, the health of our communities depends on each of us taking individual actions to help others. This includes kids, as much as adults. If […]