Building Evidence in Scouting Together

The Study Team​

Researchers from the Institute for Research on Youth Thriving and Evaluation (RYTE Institute) at Montclair State University and the American Institutes for Research (AIR) conducted this study.

RYTE Institute

The RYTE Institute explores questions related to youth thriving, developmental science, and program evaluation and planning from a systems science perspective.

The RYTE Institute is codirected by Dr. Jennifer Brown Urban and Dr. Miriam Linver (co-principal investigators of the Boy Scouts of America [BSA] BEST study), both Professors of Family Science and Human Development. The RYTE Institute engages in interdisciplinary projects and is engaged in collaborations with several other institutions and organizations, including Cornell University (Cornell Office for Research on Evaluation), Tufts University, the University of California–Berkeley (Greater Good Science Center), Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Virginia Tech, Oregon State University, AIR, and the BSA. Postdoctoral fellows plus graduate and undergraduate research assistants in the RYTE Institute come from a variety of departments and disciplines, including sociology, counseling, social work, economics, education, family science and human development, health and nutrition sciences, and psychology.


AIR is one of the world’s largest behavioral and social science research and evaluation organizations. For more than 70 years, we have engaged in applying rigorous research to the most vexing social challenges in health and education, in communities and the workforce, in the United States and across the globe. Our singular focus is using the best science to bring the smartest ideas and most effective approaches to improving people’s everyday lives, from birth to old age, with a special emphasis on the disadvantaged. As a not-for-profit organization, we conduct our work with strict independence, objectivity, and nonpartisanship.

Dr. Deborah Moroney (co-principal investigator on the BSA BEST Study) is the managing director of the AIR Youth Development and Supportive Learning Environments practice area, which promotes the positive development of young people, in schools and in out-of-school time (OST) settings in partnership with families, schools, and communities. The team consists of dedicated staff members with extensive experience with evaluation, technical assistance, and continuous improvement processes in the OST field, which includes before school, afterschool and expanded learning programming, and summer programs. The study also is supported by members of the AIR Survey and Data Sciences Division, which builds on AIR’s more than 70-year history of conducting survey research and focuses on the intersection of survey methodology, survey operations, and data science.