Benchmark Category: Creating the Match
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Somebody Who Was on My Side”: A Qualitative Examination of Youth Initiated Mentoring
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Abstract Youth initiated mentoring (YIM) is an innovative approach to mentoring being implemented by the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program in which youth identify and select their mentors. There is great interest in this approach; however, there has been little study of YIM or its implementation in ChalleNGe. Retrospective in-depth qualitative interviews with former ChalleNGe …

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Youth mentoring relationships in context: Mentor perceptions of youth, environment, and the mentor role
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Youth mentoring is primarily understood as a relationship between mentor and mentee, yet mentors often enter into home, school, and other community settings associated with youth they serve, and interact regularly with other people in mentees’ lives. Understanding how and why mentors negotiate their role as they do remains under explored, especially in relation to these environmental elements. …

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Validating a Mentoring Relationship Quality Scale: Does Match Strength Predict Match Length?
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Youth mentoring relationships have significant potential for promoting positive youth development. Nonetheless, the benefits derived from such relationships depend considerably on the length and quality of the bonds that are created between mentors and youth. Although some attention has been paid to youth’s experience of relationship quality, few studies have focused on mentors’ experience of …

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An Investigation of Same- versus Cross-gender Matching for Boys in Formal School-based Mentoring Programs
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Although assigned mentoring relationships have typically involved same-gender matches, a growing number of programs, particularly those in schools, have begun pair- ing female mentors with male mentees. This practice stems, in large part, from the relative dearth of male mentors and programs’ efforts to increase the availability of youth mentoring to young males on waiting …

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Pygmalion in the Program: The Role of Teenage Peer Mentors’ Attitudes in Shaping Their Mentees’ Outcomes
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Cross-age peer mentoring programs, in which teenagers mentor younger children, have proliferated in recent years, yet there is disagreement about the effectiveness of such programs. This study tested whether teen mentors’ attitudes about children interact with their mentees’ characteristics to moderate outcomes of cross-age peer mentoring. The sample included 221 high school volunteers, 205 mentees, …

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One adult who is crazy about you: Can natural mentoring relationships increase assets among young adults with and without foster care experience?
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During emerging adulthood, most youth receive family support to help them weather the difficulties associated with transitioning to independence. When foster youth emancipate, they confront the challenges associated with emerging adulthood, and are at risk of having to transition without family support. Many are in danger of failing to meet minimal levels of self-sufficiency. A …

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It’s good to know that you got somebody that’s not going anywhere: Attitudes and beliefs of older youth in foster care about child welfare-based natural mentoring
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This exploratory study is the first to investigate the attitudes and beliefs of older adolescents in foster care toward the implementation of a child welfare-based natural mentoring intervention designed to promote enduring, growth-fostering relationships between youth at risk of emancipation and caring, supportive nonparental adults from within the youth’s existing social network. Six focus groups …

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The role of gender in youth mentoring relationship formation and duration
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The role of gender in shaping the course and quality of adult–youth mentoring relationships was examined. The study drew on data from a large, random assignment evaluation of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBSA) programs [Grossman, J. B., & Tierney, J. P. (1998). Does mentoring work? An impact study of the Big Brothers Big …

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The Protective Influence of Mentoring on Adolescents’ Substance Use: Direct and Indirect Pathways
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A conceptual model was tested in which mentoring relationships were hypothesized to reduce substance use both directly and indirectly through improvements in adolescents’ self-perceptions and close relationships. The study included 928 young adolescents (M age = 12.25), all of whom applied to Big Brothers Big Sisters programs. The adolescents were randomly assigned to either the …

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An Exploratory Study of Youth Mentoring in an Urban Context: Adolescents’ Perceptions of Relationship Styles
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The goal of this study was to empirically distinguish a range of mentor relationships and to evaluate their differential influence on adolescent outcomes. The study makes use of data that were collected as part of a national evaluation of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America. The evaluation included 1138 youth, ranging in age from 10 through …

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