Study of Important Youth-Adult Relationships (YAR Study)

  • Research Project

What We Do

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.

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.

Project Team

Nancy L Deutsch

Nancy L. Deutsch

  • Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs
  • Linda K. Bunker Professor of Education
  • Director, Youth-Nex

Related Center & Lab

  • Research Center


Youth-Nex is a trans-disciplinary center with a translational approach to scholarship and innovation that is central to its work. 

  • Research Lab

Relationships, Ecologies and Activities for Developing Youth Lab

We are interested in how settings and interactions can be optimized to best meet adolescents’ developmental needs. In particular, we are focused on the role that relationships (with peers, mentors, non-familial adults) and activities play in adolescent development.

Contact Us

Mailing Address

  • 405 Emmet Street South
    PO Box 400281
    Charlottesville, VA 22903