Many at-risk youth are growing up isolated from the range of caring and consistent adult relationships so important for navigating the treacherous course from adolescence to adulthood. An accumulation of longitudinal research suggests that adult relationships-- provided not only by parents, but by grandparents, neighbors and other interested adults--are a common factor among resilient children, who achieve success despite growing up in disadvantaged and stressful circumstances. An important, and not often addressed, question for social intervention is whether the circumstances of more at-risk youth could be improved through efforts designed to provide greater access to these relationships.
Freedman, Marc, "Elder Mentors: Elder Mentors and At-Risk Youth" (1998). Intergenerational. 13.