Advertisement

Improving Youth Mentoring Interventions Through Research-based Practice

  • Jean E. RhodesEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

Youth mentoring programs are in the limelight. Over three million young people have a Big Brother, a Big Sister, or a similar adult volunteer involved in their lives–a sixfold increase from just a decade ago–and generous federal funding continues to fuel new initiatives. This expansion speaks volumes about the faith our society places in one-on-one relationships between vulnerable young people and caring adults. But what do we know about the effectiveness of this intervention strategy? A better understanding of the research evidence for youth mentoring, including findings from reviews, evaluations, and meta-analyses, provides a basis for a more informed, practically applicable approach to strengthening youth mentoring interventions.

Keywords

Mentoring Intervention Policy 

References

  1. Aseltine, R. H., Dupre, M., & Lamlein, P. (2000). Mentoring as a drug prevention strategy: An evaluation of across ages. Adolescent and Family Health, 1, 11–20.Google Scholar
  2. Blechman, E. A., Maurice, A., Buecker, B., & Helberg, C. (2000). Can mentoring or skill training reduce recidivism? Observational study with propensity analysis. Prevention Science, 1, 139–155.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Boaz, A., & Pawson, R. (2005). The perilous road from evidence to policy: Five journeys compared. Journal of Social Policy, 34, 175–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brady, B., Dolan, P., O’Brien, M., & Canavan, J. (2005). Big Brothers Big Sisters Ireland youth mentoring programme: Evaluation report. Galway Child & Family Research & Policy Unit.Google Scholar
  5. Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  6. Colley, H. (2003). Mentoring for social inclusion: A critical approach to nurturing mentoring relationships. London, UK: RoutledgeFalmer.Google Scholar
  7. Cooper, H., & Hedges, L. (Eds.). (1994). Handbook for research synthesis. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  8. DeWit, D. J., Lipman, E., Manzano-Munguia, M., Bisanz, J., Graham, K., Offord, D. R., O’Neill, E., Pepler, D., & Shaver, K. (2006). Feasibility of a randomized controlled trial for evaluating the effectiveness of the Big Brothers Big Sisters community match program at the national level. Children and Youth Services Review, 29, 383–404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. DuBois, D. L., & Neville, H. A. (1997). Youth mentoring: Investigation of relationship characteristics and perceived benefits. Journal of Community Psychology, 25, 227–234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. DuBois, D. L., Holloway, B. E., Valentine, J. C., & Cooper, H. (2002a). Effectiveness of mentoring programs: A meta-analytical review. American Journal of Community Psychology, 30, 157–197.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. DuBois, D. L., Neville, H. A., Parra, G. R., & Pugh-Lilly, A. O. (2002b). Testing a new model of mentoring. New Directions for Youth Development, 93, 21–57.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Durlak, J. A., & Wells, A. M. (1997). Primary prevention mental health programs for children and adolescents: A meta-analytic review. American Journal of Community Psychology, 25, 115–152.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Eby, L. T., Allen, T. D., Evans, S. C., Ng, T. W. H., & DuBois, D. (in press). Does mentoring matter? A multidisciplinary meta-analysis comparing mentored and non-mentored individuals. Journal of Vocational Behavior.Google Scholar
  14. Grossman, J. B., & Rhodes, J. E. (2002). The test of time: Predictors and effects of duration in youth mentoring relationships. American Journal of Community Psychology, 30, 199–219.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Grossman, J. B., & Tierney, J. P. (1998). Does mentoring work? An impact study of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Evaluation Review, 22, 403–426.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hall, J. C. (2003). Mentoring and young people: A literature review. The SCRE Centre: University of Glasgow.Google Scholar
  17. Hansen, K. (2007). One-to-one mentoring: Literature review. Philadelphia: Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.Google Scholar
  18. Herrera, C., Grossman, J. B., Kauh, T. J., Feldman, A. F., & McMaken, J. (with Jucovy, L. Z.). (2007). Making a difference in schools: The big brothers big sisters school-based mentoring impact study. Philadelphia, PA: Public/Private Ventures.Google Scholar
  19. Jekielek, S., Moore, K. A., & Hair, E. C. (2002). Mentoring programs and youth development. Washington, DC: Child Trends.Google Scholar
  20. Jolliffe, D., & Farington, D. P. (2007). A rapid evidence assessment of the impact of mentoring on re-offending: A summary. Cambridge University: Home Office Online Report 11/07. Retrieved May 8, 2007, from http://www.crimereduction.gov.uk/workingoffenders/workingoffenders069.htm.
  21. Karcher, M. J. (2005). The effects of developmental mentoring and high school mentors’ attendance on their younger mentees’ self-esteem, social skills, and connectedness. Psychology in the Schools, 42, 65–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Keating, L. M., Tomashina, M. A., Foster, S., & Allesandri, M. (2002). The effects of a mentoring program on at-risk youth. Adolescence, 37, 717–734.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Liabo, K., & Lucas, P. (2006). One-to-one mentoring programmes and problem behaviour in adolescence. What Works for Children Group: Evidence Nugget. Economic & Social Research Council.Google Scholar
  24. Lipsey, M. W., & Wilson, D. B. (2001). Practical meta-analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  25. LoScuito, L., Rajala, A., Townsend, T. N., & Taylor, A. S. (1996). An outcome evaluation of across ages: An intergenerational mentoring approach to drug prevention. Journal of Adolescent Research, 11, 116–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Morrow, K. V., & Styles, M. B. (1995). Building relationships with youth in program settings: A study of Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Philadelphia, PA: Public/Private Ventures.Google Scholar
  27. Pawson, R. (2006). Digging for nuggets: How ‘bad’ research can yield ‘good’ evidence. International Journal of Research Methodology, 9, 127–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Phillip, K., & Spratt, J. (2007). A synthesis of published research on mentoring and befriending for The Mentoring and Befriending Foundation. University of Aberdeen: The Rowan Group.Google Scholar
  29. Rhodes, J., & DuBois, D. (2006). Understanding and facilitating the youth mentoring movement. Social Policy Report, XX, 3–19.Google Scholar
  30. Roberts, H., Liabo, K., Lucas, P., DuBois, D., & Sheldon, T. A. (2004). Mentoring to reduce antisocial behaviour in childhood. British Medical Journal, 328, 512–514.Google Scholar
  31. Sipe, C. L. (2002). Mentoring programs for adolescents: A research summary. Journal of Adolescent Health, 31, 251–260.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Smith, R. E., & Smoll, F. L. (2002). Youth sports as a behavior setting for psychosocial interventions. In J. L. Van Raalte & B. W. Brewer (Eds.), Exploring sport and exercise psychology (2nd ed. pp. 341–371). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  33. Tolan, P., Henry, D., Shoeny, M., & Bass, A. (2005). What we know about what mentoring can and might do for youth crime. Presented at The Fifth Annual Jerry Lee Crime Prevention Symposium: Systematic Evidence on What Works in Crime and Justice: Raising Questions and Presenting Findings, May 3, 2005.Google Scholar
  34. Weissberg, R. P., Caplan, M., & Sivo, P. J. (1989). A new conceptual framework for establishing school-based social competence promotion programs. In L. A. Bond & B. E. Compas (Eds.), Primary prevention and promotion in the schools (pp. 255–296). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  35. Weisz, J., Donenberg, G., Han, S., & Weiss, B. (1995). Bridging the gap between lab and clinic in child and adolescent psychotherapy. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 63, 688–701.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Weisz, J. R., Sandler, I. N., Durlak, J. A., & Anton, B. S. (2005). Promoting and protecting youth mental health through evidence-based prevention and treatment. American Psychologist, 60, 628–648.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MassachusettsBostonUSA

Personalised recommendations