The Study of Mentoring in the Learning Environment (SMILE): A Randomized Evaluation of the Effectiveness of School-based Mentoring
- 1.9k Downloads
The effect of providing youth school-based mentoring (SBM), in addition to other school-based support services, was examined with a sample of 516 predominately Latino students across 19 schools. Participants in a multi-component, school-based intervention program run by a youth development agency were randomly assigned to one of two conditions: (1) supportive services alone or (2) supportive services plus SBM. Compared to community-based mentoring, the duration of the SBM was brief (averaging eight meetings), partly because the agency experienced barriers to retaining mentors. Intent-to-treat (ITT) main effects of SBM were tested using hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) and revealed small, positive main effects of mentoring on self-reported connectedness to peers, self-esteem (global and present-oriented), and social support from friends, but not on several other measures, including grades and social skills. Three-way cross-level interactions of sex and school level (elementary, middle, and high school) revealed that elementary school boys and high school girls benefited the most from mentoring. Among elementary school boys, those in the mentoring condition reported higher social skills (empathy and cooperation), hopefulness, and connectedness both to school and to culturally different peers. Among high school girls, those mentored reported greater connectedness to culturally different peers, self-esteem, and support from friends. Findings suggest no or iatrogenic effects of mentoring for older boys and younger girls. Therefore, practitioners coordinating multi-component programs that include SBM would be wise to provide mentors to the youth most likely to benefit from SBM and bolster program practices that help to support and retain mentors.
KeywordsMentoring School Connectedness Social skills Self-esteem Multilevel modeling
This research was funded by the William T. Grant Foundation and received ongoing support from Drs. Robert Granger and Ed Seidman. The study was conducted through the Communities in Schools of San Antonio (CISSA) agency with the help of ChiChi Allen, Kristine Benne, Debby Gil-Hernandez, Molly Gomez, Michelle Holcomb, and Laura Roy-Carlson. David DuBois consulted on the design and data analyses. The project would not have succeeded without the support of Dr. Patrick McDaniel, Nancy Reed. Jessica Weaver, the Case Managers and Cluster Leaders at CISSA. Ed Connor assisted with data management. Bob Frasier and Ross Trevino assisted with mentor recruitment. Drs. Rich Diem, Art Hernandez, and Jesse Zapata provided a home for the 3-year project. The author thanks David DuBois, Renee Spencer, and Timothy Cavell for their feedback on earlier drafts, and both Tina Kauh and Mathilda du Toit for assistance with the HLM models.
- AOL Time Warner Foundation (2002). Mentoring in America. New York: AOL Time Warner Foundation.Google Scholar
- Baker, D., & Maguire, C. (2005). Mentoring in historical perspective. In D. L. DuBois & M. J. Karcher (Eds.) Handbook of youth mentoring (pp. 14–29). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Boggan, D. (2005, June 15). Lunch Keynote. Youthfriends’ Second National School-based Mentoring Conference, Kansas City, Missouri.Google Scholar
- Bogat, G. A., & Liang, L. (2005). Gender and mentoring relationships. In D. L. DuBois & M. J. Karcher (Eds.) Handbook of youth mentoring (pp. 205–218). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Bramlett, R. K., Dielmann, K. B., & Smithson, M. (1999). Screening for behavior problems in preschool: A comparison of the social skills rating system (SSRS) and a structured teacher interview. Research in the Schools, 6, 47–52.Google Scholar
- Cavell, T., & Smith, A. M. (2005). Mentoring children. In D. L. DuBois & M. J. Karcher (Eds.) Handbook of youth mentoring (pp. 160–176). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Darling, N. (2005). Mentoring adolescents. In D. L. DuBois & M. J. Karcher (Eds.) Handbook of youth mentoring (pp. 177–190). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- DuBois, D. L., & Karcher, M. J. (2005). Youth mentoring: Theory, research, and practice. In D. L. DuBois & M. J. Karcher (Eds.) Handbook of youth mentoring (pp. 2–11). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
- DuBois, D. L., Felner, R. D., Brand, S., Phillips, R. S. C., & Lease, M. A. (1996). Early adolescent self-esteem: A developmental-ecological framework and assessment strategy. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 6, 543–579.Google Scholar
- DuBois, D. L., Neville, H. A., Parra, G. R., & Pugh-Lilly, A. O. (2002c). Testing a new model of mentoring. In J. E. Rhodes (Ed.) A critical view of youth mentoring, (Vol. 93, pp. 21–57). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Gresham, F. M., & Elliott, S. N. (1990). Social skills rating system manual. Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance Services.Google Scholar
- Grossman, J. B. (2005). Evaluating mentoring programs. In D. L. DuBois & M. J. Karcher (Eds.) Handbook of youth mentoring (pp. 251–265). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Hansen, K. (2005). School-based mentoring study phase 1 report 2003–2004 school year: Effective practices. Philadelphia: Big Brothers Big Sisters.Google Scholar
- Herrera, C. L., Sipe, W. S., & McClanahan, Z. (2000). Mentoring school-age children: Relationship development in community-based and school-based programs. Philadelphia: Public/Private Ventures.Google Scholar
- Kalaian, S. A. (2003). Meta-analysis methods for synthesizing treatment effects in multisite studies: Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) perspective. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 8(15). Retrieved June 28, 2007 from http://PAREonline.net/getvn.asp?v=8&n=15.
- Karcher, M. J. (2003). The Hemingway: Measure of adolescent connectedness: Validation studies. ERIC no. ED477969; ERIC/CASS no. CG032433. Retrieved February 28, 2005 from http://www.adolescentconnectedness.com
- Karcher, M. J. (2004). Connectedness and school violence: A framework for developmental interventions. In E. R. Gerler Jr. (Ed.) Handbook of school violence (pp. 7–39). New York: Haworth.Google Scholar
- Karcher, M. J., Davis, C., & Powell, B. (2002). Developmental mentoring in the schools: Testing connectedness as a mediating variable in the promotion of academic achievement. The School Community Journal, 12, 36–52.Google Scholar
- Kuperminc, G., Emshoff, J. G., Reiner, M. N., Secrest, L. A., Niolon, P., & Foster, J. D. (2005). Integration of mentoring with other programs and services. In D. L. DuBois & M. J. Karcher (Eds.) Handbook of youth mentoring (pp. 314–334). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership. (2004). $450 million dollars for mentoring: Issue brief. Retrieved July 18, 2004, from http://www.mentoring.org/take_action/hot_issues/president/index.adp.
- Portwood, S. G., & Ayers, P. M. (2005). Schools. In D. L. DuBois & M. J. Karcher (Eds.) Handbook of youth mentoring (pp. 336–347). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Raudenbush, S. W., & Bryk, A. S. (2002). Hierarchical linear models: Applications and data analysis methods (2nd ed.). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Rhodes, J. E., & Davis, A. B. (1996). Supportive ties between nonparent adults and urban adolescent girls. In B. J. Leadbeater & N. Way (Eds.) Urban girls: Resisting stereotypes, creating identities (pp. 213–225). New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
- Sanchez, B., & Colon, Y. (2005). Race, ethnicity, and culture in mentoring relationships. In D. L. DuBois & M. J. Karcher (Eds.) Handbook of youth mentoring (pp. 251–265). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Sipe, C. L., & Roder, A. E. (1999). Mentoring school-age children: A classification of programs. Philadelphia: Public/Private Ventures.Google Scholar