Research in Higher Education

, Volume 44, Issue 4, pp 473–494 | Cite as

Enhancement of Mentor Selection Using the Ideal Mentor Scale



Doctoral students seeking faculty mentors have few tools available to assist them. The Ideal Mentor Scale (IMS) is a new measure designed to help graduate students consider the qualities they as individuals most value in a potential mentor. Ph.D. students at 3 different universities (Ns = 82, 250, 380) contributed to the development and cross-validation of the 34-item IMS. Item frequencies indicated that 2 universal qualities were central to graduate students' definitions of a mentor: communication skills and provision of feedback. Principal factor analysis of the IMS indicated that 3 individual differences dimensions reliably underlaid graduate students' importance ratings of mentor attributes: Integrity, Guidance, and Relationship. In one sample, Guidance and Relationship were significantly related to student satisfaction with their mentor. The IMS is an assessment tool that could individualize the initiation and maintenance of mentoring relationships, enhance communication, and ultimately improve the satisfaction of students with their doctoral education.

mentors graduate students scale development 


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Health Behavior Research Center, Department of PsychiatryThe University of VermontSouth Burlington

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