We need youth sports now more than ever

By Peter C. Scales, Ph.D. and Benjamin J. Houltberg, Ph.D., Search Institute We wrote a brief white paper recently about a new Search Institute initiative being planned about youth development through sports, specifically, about developmental relationships and sporting honor, and why youth sports needs more coaching around those themes. We wrote that white paper before […]

Joe Biden

By Kent Pekel, Ed.D., President and CEO, Search Institute Joe Biden didn’t speak about education very often during the presidential campaign of 2020 but, paradoxically, some of his best moments occurred when cameras captured him interacting with young people. Those moments included Mr. Biden’s exchanges with 13 year-old Brayden Harrington about overcoming stuttering, and the […]

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, […]