Developmental Relationships

Helping Young People Be and Become Their Best Selves

Developmental relationships are the roots of young people’s success. They are essential for all young people, in every community. When young people experience these relationships in their families, schools, programs, and communities, they are more likely to be resilient in the face of challenges and grow up thriving.

Through developmental relationships, young people . . .

  • Discover who they are;
  • Cultivate the abilities needed for them to shape their own lives; and
  • Learn how to engage with and contribute to the world around them.


Drawing on research and the experiences shared directly by young people and adults across the United States, Search Institute has created the Developmental Relationships Framework, which is the basis for ongoing research, action-learning partnerships, and available tools.

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