Adult and Peer Relationships

Search Institute’s current research focus on developmental relationships builds on decades of interest in the role of adult and peer relationships beyond the family in young people’s lives.

Research Reports and Briefs

2017

Getting Relationships Right: 55 Leaders Discuss What It Will Take to Create Schools and Youth Programs Where Developmental Relationships Thrive, Kent Pekel

Relationships First: Creating Connections that Help Young People Thrive, Eugene C. Roehlkepartain, Kent Pekel, Amy K. Syvertsen, Jenna Sethi, Theresa K. Sullivan, and Peter C. Scales

Beyond the Family: How Itasca Area Adults Can–and Do–Create Caring, Strong Connections with Youth, Eugene C. Roehlkepartain—for SPARK: Stronger Futures for All

2016

The Power of Peer Relationships: A Study of Peer Programs in the United States (Summary), Theresa K. Sullivan, Jenna Sethi, and Eugene C. Roehlkepartain

2010

Teen Voice 2010: Relationships that Matter to America’s 15-Year-Olds, Peter C. Scales, Eugene C. Roehlkepartain, and Peter L. Benson

Download the summary report

Download the detailed report

2009

Teen Voice 2009: The Untapped Strengths of 15-Year-Olds, Peter C. Scales, Eugene C. Roehlkepartain, and Peter L. Benson

2003

Grading Grown-Ups 2002: How Do American Kids and Adults Relate? A National Study, Peter C. Scales, Peter L. Benson, and Marc Mannes

2001

Grading Grownups: American Adults Report on their Real Relationships with Kids, [LINK TO PDF] Peter C. Scales, Peter L. Benson, and Eugene C. Roehlkepartain

Research-Based Books

Clary, E. G., & Rhodes, J. E. (2006). Mobilizing adults for positive youth development: Strategies for closing the gap between beliefs and behaviors, (Search Institute series on developmentally attentive community and society). New York, NY: Springer.

Moore, K., & Lippman, L., (2005). What do children need to flourish? Conceptualizing and measuring indicators of positive development (Search Institute series on developmentally attentive community and society). New York, NY: Springer.

Scales, P. (2003). Other people’s kids: Social expectations and American adults’ involvement with children and adolescents (The Search Institute Series on Developmentally Attentive Community and Society. New York, NY: Springer.

Peer-Reviewed Articles and Chapters

Pekel, K., Roehlkepartain, E. C., Syvertsen, S. K., Scales, P. C., Sullivan, T. K., Sethi, J. (2018). Finding the fluoride: Examining how and why developmental relationships are the active ingredient in interventions that work. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. Advance online publication.

Ben-Eliyahu, A., Rhodes, J. E., & Scales, P. C. (2014). The interest-driven pursuits of 15-year-olds: “Sparks” and their association with caring relationships and developmental outcomes. Applied Developmental Science, 18, 76-89. doi: 10.1080/10888691.2014.894414

Schwartz, S. O., Chan, C. S., Rhodes, J. E., & Scales, P .C. (2014). Community developmental assets and positive youth development: The role of natural mentors. Research in Human Development, 10(2), 141-162. doi: 10.1080/15427609.2013.786553

Scales, P. C., Benson, P. L., & Roehlkepartain, E. C. (2011). Adolescent thriving: The role of sparks, relationships, and empowerment. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 40, 263-277. doi: 10.1007/s10964-010-9578-6

Scales, P. C. (2006). The world of adults today: Implications for positive youth development. In E. G. Clary & J. E. Rhodes (Eds.), Mobilizing adults for positive youth development: Strategies for closing the gap between beliefs and behaviors (pp. 41-61). New York, NY: Springer.

Scales, P. C., Benson, P .L., & Mannes, M. (2006). The contribution to adolescent well-being made by nonfamily adults:  An examination of Developmental Assets as contexts and processes.  Journal of Community Psychology, 2006, 34(4), 401-413. doi: 10.1002/jcop.20106

Syvertsen, A. K., & Flanagan, C. A. (2006). Peer influences on political development. In L. Sherrod, C. A. Flanagan, R. Kassimir, & A. K. Syvertsen (Eds.), Youth activism: An international encyclopedia (pp. 462-466). Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing.

Scales, P. C.,  Benson, P. L., Hintz, N. R., Sullivan, T. K., & Mannes, M. (2001). The role of neighborhood and community in building developmental assets for children and youth:  A national study of social norms among American adults.  Journal of Community Psychology (2001), 29: 1-25.

Scales, P. C. (1999). Care and challenge: The sources of student success. Middle Ground: The Magazine of Middle Level Education, 3(2), 21–23.

Scales, P. C., & Gibbons, J. L. (1996). Extended family members and unrelated adults in the lives of young adolescents: A research agenda. Journal of Early Adolescence, 16(4), 365-389. doi: 10.1177/0272431696016004001

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