Nonparental Adults as Asset Builders in the Lives of Youth

  • Jean E. Rhodes
  • Jennifer G. Roffman
Part of the The Search Institute Series on Developmentally Attentive Community and Society book series (SISS, volume 1)


Supportive relationships with nonparent adults are considered to be among the key developmental assets predicting positive youth outcomes. Indeed, researchers at Search Institute have identified “supportive relationship with three or more other adults,” “adult role models,” and “adults in community value youth” as essential to youths’ healthy development and well-being (Benson, Leffert, Scales, & Blythe, 1998; Scales & Leffert, 1999). Similarly, researchers working from within a risk-and-resilience framework have repeatedly called attention to the protective influence of supportive relationships with adults (Garmezy, 1985; Masten & Coatsworth, 1998; Werner & Smith, 1982). In this chapter, we will describe the ways in which nonparental adults function as resources in the lives of adolescents. Within this context, we will review mentoring relationships and the settings in which they are most likely to emerge. We will also discuss strategies for maximizing the benefits of mentoring and look at the underlying processes that might affect developmental outcomes. As we will describe, mentoring can occur naturally or through formal assignments, and the characteristics of mentoring relationships are as varied as the youth and mentors who enter into them.


Mentor Program Community Psychology Positive Youth Development Supportive Relationship Mentor Relationship 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean E. Rhodes
    • 1
  • Jennifer G. Roffman
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MassachusettsBostonUSA

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