Improving Youth Mentoring Interventions Through Research-based Practice

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.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Although there are no easy conventions for determining practical importance, Cohen’s (1988) standards for interpreting effect sizes are as follows: an effect size value of .20 is a commonly used benchmark for a “small” effect, .50 for a “medium” effect, and .80 for a “large” effect.

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Correspondence to Jean E. Rhodes.

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Rhodes, J.E. Improving Youth Mentoring Interventions Through Research-based Practice. Am J Community Psychol 41, 35–42 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10464-007-9153-9

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Keywords

  • Mentoring
  • Intervention
  • Policy