, Volume 7, Issue 6, pp 1327–1338 | Cite as

Mindfulness and Mentoring Satisfaction of College Women Mentoring Youth: Implications for Training

  • Martha D. FoukalEmail author
  • Edith C. Lawrence
  • Patricia A. Jennings


College students who mentor at-risk youth face a variety of challenges and unexpected dilemmas. Mindful awareness practices (MAPs) offer a promising strategy for stress reduction and enhanced relationship satisfaction for college students, counseling students, parents, and teachers; yet, the potential benefits for college student mentors remain largely unexamined. This quasi-experimental study analyzed survey data from college student mentors who received a MAP-based intervention (n = 59), and a comparison group comprised mentors who received the same mentor training and group mentoring curriculum, but without the added mindfulness component to examine the following research questions: (a) is the addition of a mindfulness component to college student mentor training associated with mentors’ mentoring satisfaction; (b) does this help them enhance their ability to be empathic in challenging situations; and (c) does this help them shift their inclination for autonomous decision-making and prescriptive mentoring toward a more collaborative, youth-centered approach. Relative to the comparison group, mentors who participated in mindfulness training reported significantly higher mentor satisfaction, greater increases in empathy, and greater decreases in autonomy. Results provide youth-focused programs with new knowledge regarding additional avenues for supporting college students working with youth.


Youth mentoring College student mentors Mentor training Mindfulness 



We would like to thank Patricia Broderick, author of the Learning to BREATHE (L2B) curriculum, for her valuable consultation and generous permission to adapt ideas from L2B for integration into the Young Women Leaders Program group mentoring curriculum. We would also like to thank the University of Virginia, Contemplative Sciences Center for partially funding this research.

Compliance with Ethical Standards


Funding for this work was provided by grants from the University of Virginia Contemplative Sciences Center and the Alcoa Foundation.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Conflict of Interest

Martha Foukal declares that she has no conflict of interest. Edith Lawrence declares that she has no conflict of interest. Patricia Jennings declares that she has no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martha D. Foukal
    • 1
    Email author
  • Edith C. Lawrence
    • 1
  • Patricia A. Jennings
    • 1
  1. 1.University of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA

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