Search Institute’s current focus on developmental relationships highlights the vital roles that families play in young people’s development, learning, and thriving.
In addition to these research studies and articles, Search Institute developed Keep Connected and ParentFurther.com as resources for engaging families and strengthening family relationships.

Research Reports and Briefs


Highlights from the 2018 Itasca Area Youth Voice Survey

Helping Kids Thrive at Home: How Itasca area youth experience strength and resilience in their relationships with parents and grandparents, Eugene C. Roehlkepartain, with contributions from Rachel Chamberlain, Justin Roskopf, Martin Van Boekel, Sao Xiong, and Chen-Yu Wu


A Snapshot of Developmental Relationships between Parents and Youth, Eugene C. Roehlkepartain, Amy K. Syvertsen, & Chen-Yu Wu


Don’t Forget the Families: The Missing Piece in America’s Effort to Help All Children Succeed, Kent Pekel, Eugene C. Roehlkepartain, Amy K. Syvertsen, and Peter C. Scales

Full Research Report

Summary of Findings

Technical Appendix


The American Family Assets Study, Amy K. Syvertsen, Eugene C. Roehlkepartain, and Peter C. Scales

Study Highlights

Study Report

Discussion Starter Questions

Technical Report

Family Assets Framework

Speaking of Money: Equipping Youth and Families to Navigate Finances in Their Everyday Lives, Eugene C. Roehlkepartain

Download the complete brief

Download a one-page summary


Engaging Families in Service: Broadening Service-Learning’s Reach, Impact, and Support, Eugene C. Roehlkepartain and Jenny Friedman


Building Strong Families 2004: A Study of African American and Latino/Latina Parents in the United States (Summary Report), Eugene C. Roehlkepartain, Marc Mannes, Peter C. Scales, Shenita Lewis, and Brent Boltrom


Building Strong Families: A Preliminary Survey on What Parents Need to Succeed, Eugene C. Roehlkepartain, Peter C. Scales, Stacey P. Rude, and Jolene L. Roehlkepartain

Download the summary report

Download the detailed report


The Possible Dream: What Families in Distressed Communities Need to Help Kids Thrive, Rebecca N. Saito, Theresa K. Sullivan, and Nicole R. Hintz


Growing Up Adopted: A Portrait of Adolescents and their Families, Peter L. Benson, Anu R. Sharma, and Eugene C. Roehlkepartain

Peer-Reviewed Articles and Chapters

Perkins, D. F., Syvertsen, A. K., Mincemoyer, C., Chilenski, S. M., Olson, J. R., Berrena, E., … & Spoth, R. (2016). Thriving in school: The role of sixth-grade adolescent–parent–school relationships in predicting eighth-grade academic outcomes. Youth & Society, 48(6), 739-762. doi: 10.1177/0044118X13512858

Spier, E. T., Britto, P.R., Pigott T., Roehlkepartain, E. C., McCarthy, M, Kidron Y, Song, M., Scales, P. C., Wagner. D., Lane, J., Glover, J. (2016). Parental, community, and familial support interventions to improve children’s literacy in developing countries: A systematic review. Campbell Systematic Reviews 2016:4. doi:10.4073/csr.2016.4

Roehlkepartain, E. C. & Syvertsen, A. K. (2014). Family strengths and resilience: Insights from a national study. Reclaiming Children and Youth, 23(2), 13-18.

Roehlkepartain, E. C. (2013). Families and communities together: Strength and resilience during early adolescence (Doctoral dissertation). University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/162517.

Lippman, L., Michelsen, E., & Roehlkepartain, E. C. (2004). Indicators of the social context of families: The measurement of family religiosity and spirituality. Unpublished paper prepared for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Contract No.: HHS-100-01-0011).

Scales, P. C., Benson, P. L., Roehlkepartain, E. C., Hintz, N. R., Sullivan, T. K., & Mannes, M. (2004). The role of parental status and child age in the engagement of children and youth with adults outside their families. Journal of Family Issues, 25(4), 735–760. doi: 10.1177/0192513X03259139

Scales, P. C. (1997). The role of family support programs in building developmental assets among young adolescents: A national survey of services and staff training needs. Child Welfare, 76(5), 611–635.

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

Benson, P. L., Sharma, A. R., & Roehlkepartain, E. C. (1995) Strengths in adoptive families. Child Welfare, 3(2), 1-2. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2012.03.011

Benson, P. L. & Roehlkepartain, E. C. (1994). Single-parent families: Risk and resiliency. PSAY Network, 2(1), 5-7.