It’s not just fathers that can play a crucial role in the development of boys, but teachers, coaches and other adult mentors can also have a significant impact. This is especially true in helping boys to “develop identity (and) self-esteem and navigate peer relationships,” she said. Learning how to be respectful in peer-to-peer relationships is especially relevant because studies show that “young men who hold stereotypical gender role (beliefs) are more likely to engage in acts of violence toward others, (and engage in) self-harm and suicide, substance abuse, delinquency … and unsafe sexual practices,” Randall said.