Study of Important Youth-Adult Relationships (YAR Study)

This mixed-methods study seeks to understand the development, characteristics, and influence of non-parental youth-adult relationships (YARs) across contexts over key transition points during adolescence. A major goal of this longitudinal project is to identify characteristics of relationships that appeal to youth, contextual sources of YARs, and features of youth-serving settings that foster or impede supportive YARs. We will analyze the phenomena of YARs from the perspective of youth, to understand how they choose, assess and utilize these relationships, their potential social capital and psychosocial benefits, and how settings can foster or constrain youths’ and adults’ abilities to develop these connections. This study is supported by a grant from the William T. Grant Foundation.









From L-R: Christopher Rates, Heather Lam, Shannon Varga, Courtney Fox, Valerie Futch, Nikki DuVal, and Nancy Deutsch


Valerie A. Futch ( (434) 243-3786

Nancy L. Deutsch ( (434) 924-0815

Research Assistants:

  • Courtney Fox
  • Heather Lam
  • Christopher Rates
  • Shannon Varga