The Learning about Important Non-parental Kin (LINK) study investigates factors that promote the development of natural mentoring relationships within the family network. By using both quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews, LINK seeks to identify natural occurring predictors of these beneficial relationships and the potential causal mechanisms behind them. This study involves researchers going into the Charlottesville community to conduct interviews and determine the role of natural mentors in promoting positive development.
We aim to use this research to redefine and inform the youth mentoring movement to include interventions aimed at nurturing mentoring relationships between adolescents and the adults already present in their social circles. This research will allow for interventions to function in the most effective way and do the most good for the adolescents involved in them.