Evidence Bank

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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“I didn’t know you could just ask:” Empowering underrepresented college-bound students to recruit academic and career mentors
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This study investigates a new approach to cultivating mentoring relationships in which adolescents participate in workshops to develop their capacity to recruit mentors and other supportive adults who can help advance their academic and career goals. Drawing on in-depth pre- and post- interviews, research observations, and participant feedback and workshop materials from a pilot intervention …

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Predictors of Premature Match Closure in Youth Mentoring Relationships
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Although mentoring is a popular and effective means of intervention with youth, the positive effects of mentoring can be diminished by premature match closure of relationships. Program, mentor, and mentee characteristics were examined as predictors of premature match closure. Secondary data analyses were conducted on a large national database of mentoring programs consisting of match …

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Bringing Together Mentoring, Technology, and Whole-School Reform
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The iMentor College Ready Program is a unique model that combines elements of school-based mentoring, whole school reform, and technology in an effort to help students develop the knowledge, behaviors, and skills needed to reach and succeed in college. It is an intensive, four-year intervention offered in schools that serve low-income students. Students are paired …

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Children with Incarcerated Parents: A Quantitative Evaluation of Mentoring and Home-Based Counseling and Case Management Services
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There is evidence that parental incarceration has negative effects on children (e.g., on mental health and behavior; Murray, Farrington, & Sekol, 2012). In particular, there has been a concern about “intergenerational incarceration,” or a high likelihood that children with incarcerated parents (CIP) will themselves become justice-involved. The incarceration of a parent brings unique stressors to …

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Investing in Mentoring and Educational Initiatives:The Limits of DeRadicalisation Programmes in Australia
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The Australian Government has tried to counter the threat of Islamic extremism by investing in mentoring and educational initiatives. Fearful of the potential for “home-grown” extremism, especially after the July 2005 London attacks, the Australian authorities seek to counter the narrow-minded narrative of extremism by sponsoring “moderate Islam”. This approach is aimed at presenting a …

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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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Community Developmental Assets and Positive Youth Development: The Role of Natural Mentors
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This study investigates the role of mentoring relationships in explaining associations between youth experiences of community developmental assets (i.e., involvement in structured activities and community attitudes towards youth) and youth out- comes within a national sample of 15-year-olds (n = 1,860). Results indicated that community assets were associated with having a mentor, and that youth …

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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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Foster Youth and the Transition to Adulthood: The Theoretical and Conceptual Basis for Natural Mentoring
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The transition from adolescence to adulthood is considered a significant developmental stage in a young person’s growth. Most youth receive family support to help them weather the difficulties associated with this stage. When foster youth age out of the child welfare system, they confront the challenges associated with this developmental stage and are at risk …

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Child Welfare Professionals’ Attitudes and Beliefs About Child Welfare-Based Natural Mentoring for Older Youth in Foster Care
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This qualitative study is the first to explore child welfare professionals’ attitudes and beliefs about implementing natural mentoring as a promising way to smooth the road to independence for older foster youth. The term “natural mentor” refers to a nonparental, caring adult whom a youth identifies in his/her existing social network (e.g., teachers, coaches, adult …

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“She holds my hand” The experiences of foster youth with their natural mentors
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The vulnerability and adversity that youth frequently experience following aging out of foster care are well-documented. However, much less is known about the positive experiences and healthy relationships that may buffer these youth from the negative outcomes following emancipation. Utilising a strengths perspective, this exploratory study gathered qualitative data about the experiences of older foster youth with their natural …

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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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Agents of change: Pathways through which mentoring relationships influence adolescents’ academic adjustment
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A conceptual model was tested in which the effects of mentoring relationships on adolescents’ academic outcomes were hypothesized to be mediated partially through improvements in parental relationships. The parameters of the model were compared with those of an alternative, in which improved parental relationships were treated as an outcome variable rather than a mediator. The …

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The Test of Time: Predictors and Effects of Duration in Youth Mentoring Relationships
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The effects and predictors of duration in youth mentor relationships were examined. The study included 1,138 young, urban adolescents (Mean age = 12.25), all of whom applied to Big Brothers Big Sisters programs. The adolescents were randomly assigned to either the treatment or control group, and administered questions at baseline and 18 months later. Adolescents …

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Supporting the Transition to Adulthood among High School Dropouts: An Impact Study of the National Guard Youth Challenge Program
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Using a multi-year, random assignment design, this study evaluated the effects of the National Guard Youth Challenge Program (NGYCP), an intensive residential intervention program for youth ages 16–18 who have dropped out of high school. The sample included 1,173 youth (predominantly male) of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds from ten NGYCP sites across the country. …

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Youth Initiated Mentoring: Investigating a New Approach to Working with Vulnerable Adolescents
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This study examines youth initiated mentoring (YIM), a new approach to mentoring in which youth nominate mentors from among the non-parental adults within their existing social networks (e.g., teachers, family friends, extended family members). YIM is currently being implemented through the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program (NGYCP), an intensive residential intervention program for youth ages …

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The Test of Time in School-Based Mentoring: The Role of Relationship Duration and Re-Matching on Academic Outcomes
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The influence of match length and re-matching on the effectiveness of school-based mentoring was studied in the context of a national, randomized study of 1,139 youth in Big Brothers Big Sisters programs. The sample included youth in grades four through nine from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. At the end of the year, youth in …

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The Impact of School-Based Mentoring on Youths With Different Relational Profiles
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Associations between youths’ relationship profiles and mentoring outcomes were explored in the context of a national, randomized study of 1,139 youths (54% female) in geographically diverse Big Brothers Big Sisters school-based mentoring programs. The sample included youths in Grades 4 –9 from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, the majority of whom were receiving free or …

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Pathways of influence in school-based mentoring: The mediating role of parent and teacher relationships
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This study explores the pathways through which school-based mentoring relationships are associated with improvements in elementary and high school students’ socio-emotional, academic, and behavioral outcomes. Participants in the study (N= 526) were part of a national evaluation of the Big Brothers Big Sisters school-based mentoring programs, all of whom had been randomly assigned to receive …

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Mentoring in the digital age: Social media use in adult–youth relationships
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With digital media use on the rise among adolescents and adults alike, youth-serving organizations, and mentoring programs in particular, are increasingly in the position of having to develop policies that take advantage of the potential benefits of social media use, while guarding against potential risks. However, little data exists on program policies or use of …

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First Do No Harm: Ethical Principles for Youth Mentoring Relationships
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Mentoring programs pair youth who are perceived to be at risk for poor outcomes with volunteers who are trained to provide support. Although mentoring has experienced tremendous growth in recent years, the ethical challenges inherent in relationship-based interventions have been given insufficient attention among researchers and practitioners. Rarely acknowledged is the potential for harm that …

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Mentoring Relationships and Programs for Youth
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Mentoring is one of the most popular social interventions in American society, with an estimated three million youth in formal one-to-one relationships. Studies have revealed significant associations between youth involvement in mentoring relationships and positive developmental outcomes. These associations are modest, however, and depend on several intervening processes. Centrally important is the formation of close, …

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How Effective Are Mentoring Programs for Youth? A Systematic Assessment of the Evidence
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Whether it’s parents, teachers, coaches, or family friends, there’s no question that adults serve as powerful role models for youth as they transition from childhood to adolescence to adulthood. Mentoring programs across the United States have tried to harness the power of positive role models in the hopes that relationships with an adult mentor will …

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Brother from another mother: Mentoring for African-Caribbean adolescent boys
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African-Caribbean adolescent boys in the UK have a risk of developing mental health difficulties but are a challenging group to engage in mental health services. One avenue for promoting the psychological well-being of these adolescents is through mentoring programmes. This qualitative study explored the role of mentoring with African-Caribbean adolescent boys who had psychological and …

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Best Practices in School-Based Mentoring Programs for Adolescents
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Mentoring is a promising approach to promote healthy develop- ment and prevent poor youth outcomes; however, bad mentoring experiences have yielded negative results. Thus, it is critical that youth service providers take heed of the current research and resources for establishing an effective youth mentoring program. Given the increased interest in school-based mentoring programs, presented …

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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 pairing 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 lists. …

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An evaluation of the measurement properties of the Mentor Self-Efficacy Scale among participants in Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada Community Mentoring Programs
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The measurement properties of a newly developed instrument, Mentor Self-Efficacy Scale, were examined among 249 Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) mentor, child, and parent triads. The unidimensional scale demonstrated acceptable reliability (α = 0.81) and convergent validity, with mentor self-efficacy (MSE) correlating with mentor reported global (r = 0.28, p<0.001) and engagement (r = 0.44, …

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Adults Are Still Needed! Intergenerational and Mentoring Activities
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There are a number of compelling reasons that justify attention to and implementation of non-familial adult participation in the lives of youth, through mentoring and intergenerational activities and programs. This article describes the rationale for activities that connect youth and older non-familial adults together in meaningful and productive relationships. Mentoring and intergenerational programs address specific …

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Adolescent resilience: a concept analysis
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There is need for greater clarity around the concept of resilience as it relates to the period of adolescence. Literature on resilience published between 1990 and 2000 and relevant to adolescents aged between 12- and 18-years of age was reviewed with the aim of examining the various uses of the term, and commenting on how …

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Academic and School Behavioral Variables as Predictors of High School Graduation Among At-Risk Adolescents Enrolled in a Youth-Based Mentoring Program
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Using official school data, this study examined a sample of 447 at-risk students enrolled over a 10-year period in a youth-based mentoring program. The primary objective of the program was to ensure high school graduation. Participants were identified by indices of academic and school behaviors that rendered them less likely to graduate from high school. …

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A Synthesis of Published Research on Mentoring and Befriending for The Mentoring and Befriending Foundation
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This review of published research on mentoring and befriending brings together evidence about research and practice in youth mentoring and befriending in the UK. It explores findings from academic literature and includes evidence from reports and summaries of mentoring and befriending projects from the UK. A considerable number of young people and volunteers have taken …

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A Model for the Influence of Mentoring Relationships on Youth Development
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Anecdotal reports of the protective qualities of mentoring relationships for youth are corroborated by a growing body of research. What is missing, however, is research on the processes by which mentors influence developmental outcomes. In this article, we present a conceptual model of the mentoring process along with a delineation of some of the current …

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A Meta-Analysis of After-School Programs That Seek to Promote Personal and Social Skills in Children and Adolescents
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A meta-analysis of after-school programs that seek to enhance the personal and social skills of children and adolescents indicated that, compared to controls, participants demonstrated significant increases in their self-perceptions and bonding to school, positive social behaviours, school grades and levels of academic achievement, and significant reductions in problem behaviours. The presence of four recommended …

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A longitudinal Study of work-based, adult-youth mentoring
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. Using a longitudinal design, this study explored the relation of urban high school student attitudes toward school, work, and self-esteem beliefs to work-based mentoring, mentor satisfaction, and employment status. Participants included high school students taking part in a formal work-based mentoring program, students who established informal mentoring relationships at work, students who worked without …

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A Follow-Up Randomised Controlled Trial Evaluation of the Effects of Business in the Community’s Time to Read Mentoring Programme
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. This report presents the findings of a randomised controlled trial evaluation of the Time to Read volunteer mentoring programme run by Business in the Community. There already exists a strong body of evidence demonstrating that Time to Read is extremely well received by schools, mentors and the children themselves who regard it as an …

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A comparison of face-to-face and electronic peer-mentoring: Interactions with mentor gender
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The present study compared the relative impact of peer-mentoring that took place either face-to-face or through electronic chat. Protégé’s were 106 college freshmen randomly assigned to a senior college student mentor and to one of the two communication modes. Fifty-one mentors interacted with one of these protégés face-to-face and one solely through electronic chat. Electronic …

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