Most of us know that quality relationships are important in the lives of youth. And families play big roles in positive youth outcomes, preparing them for success in school, work and life.1

In fact, the quality of the relationships in the family predict thriving and build character strengths much more than demographic factors. A large number of strong relationships in a young person’s life correlate with a decrease in high-risk behaviors, such as alcohol and tobacco use. And youth with strong family relationships tend to be more resilient in the face of stress and trauma.2 

Do you want to build strong developmental relationships in your family? Start with the 20 actions listed below, which are adapted from Search Institute’s Developmental Relationships Framework to focus just on families. 

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positive family relationships

1 Don’t Forget the Families: The Missing Piece in America’s Efforts to Help All Children Succeed (

Relationships First: Creating Connections that Help Young People Thrive (

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