The Developmental Relationships Survey Coming in 2020

The Developmental Relationships Survey will measure Search Institute’s Developmental Relationships Framework, and the social-emotional learning (SEL) competencies developed and defined by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).*

Search Institute will be launching our Developmental Relationship Survey in Fall 2020. Currently in pilot testing, this survey will be a valid and reliable measure of the Developmental Relationships Framework, core competencies of social-emotional learning (as defined by CASEL*), along with several other important measures on how young people interact with others, build relationships, perceive organizational quality, diversity, bias, equity, and inclusion.

Search Institute’s research on developmental relationships, along with more than sixty years of experience in designing and administering youth surveys, will apprise this survey.

What components will be measured by the Developmental Relationship Survey?

The new DR survey will measure the following*:

Key attributes of the developmental relationship framework:

  • Expressing care
  • Challenging growth
  • Providing support
  • Sharing power
  • Expanding possibilities
  • Youth contributions to developmental relationships


Social, Emotional, Civic, and Academic Development:

  • Self-Reported Grades
  • Academic Motivation / Engagement
  • Civic Skills
  • Social and Emotional Competencies


Equity Environments for Learning and Development:

  • Organization’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Experiences of Bias or Discrimination

*Additional measures developed by our survey development team are currently being tested and may also be included in the core survey or as add-on modules.

Staff Component

This survey will contain a component for school and program staff. Schools and organizations will be able to assess relationships at the staff level and see varying perspectives between staff and youth. (For example, some teachers may believe they are good at “expressing care” where the data from the students may not reflect this.)

Who will it be for?

It will be for young people in grades 4-12, program staff, and teachers.
It can be administered in a school or program setting.

How has it been developed?

Search Institute’s research team collected vast amounts of input via focus groups, surveys, and interviews on survey design from professionals in the field, including:

  • Teachers
  • Administrators
  • Youth workers
  • Social workers
  • Counselors
  • Measurement and evaluation specialists
  • Others from a wide variety of schools and youth-serving organizations
  • Young people, in order to gather their feedback and to make sure that survey items are easily understandable and accessible

Extensive pilot testing is currently being done. Organizations that have piloted the survey will provide feedback on the survey and the accompanying resources.

Would you like to be notified when the survey is released? Please fill out the form below:

Get Notified when the Developmental Relationship Survey is released

We anticipate that the survey will be complete by Fall of 2020. Would you like to be notified when the survey is available? Is so, please register below.

*®CASEL 2017. The five social and emotional learning (SEL) competencies were developed and defined by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). For more information, visit

Have questions about the survey?

For questions, please contact us at