Supportive Relationships

Youth-Nex focuses on multi-investigator, cross-disciplinary systematic research efforts. These research projects represent the current and on-going work at Youth-Nex in the area of supportive relationships.

"It turns out, most adolescents have positive relationships with their families, friends, and schools.”

–Patrick Tolan, Professor Emeritus and Founding Director of Youth-Nex

Research Projects

  • Research Project

Influences of Classroom-level Social Settings on Language and Content Learning in Linguistically Diverse Classrooms

This research, supported by the William T. Grant Foundation, focuses on understanding classroom-level social settings in which English language learners, along with their English-only and bilingual peers, learn alongside each other in middle school classrooms.

  • Research Project

Study of Important Youth-Adult Relationships (YAR Study)

This mixed-methods study seeks to understand the developmentcharacteristics, and influence of non-parental youth-adult relationships (YARs) across contexts over key transition points during adolescence.

  • Research Project

Measurement of Mentoring Process

This project examined the processes that make up mentoring interactions to understand the “how” of mentoring from both the adult mentor and youth mentee perspective.

  • Research Project


Through the Young Women’s Leadership Program (YWLP), we are studying how mentor engagement facilitates social development of college student mentees as well as those from low socioeconomic backgrounds. 

  • Research Project

Classroom Connections

Middle school is a time when peer influence becomes most salient. Most of the focus has been on this as a risk promoting process. This study focuses on how student peer social and academic networks promote learning and inclusion and may reduce ethnic group inequalities in achievement. 

  • Research Project

A Study of Positive Youth Development Among High School Students

This study will examine whether participation in an inter-group dialogue program during the school year enhances strengths conceptualized in the “positive youth development” paradigm and diversity-related values, and promotes ethnic identity exploration among high school students.