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Mentee Risk Status and Mentoring Program Practices as Predictors of Match Outcomes

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2017
2 pages
This is a summary of a report on a study that examined data for hundreds of mentoring programs to determine whether mentee risk and mentoring program practices predicted match longevity and strength, as well as other outcomes of the mentoring relationship.
Overall, the study found that mentees with many risk factors - such as beginning their mentoring relationship as an adolescent having antisocial behavioral problems, or experiencing many stressful life experiences - were less likely to have effective and long-lasting mentoring relationships compared with mentees with fewer risk factors; however, the study also found that mentoring program practice made a difference in mentoring outcomes, even with high-risk youth. Specifically, programs that implemented more of the benchmark practices in the "Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring" as longer-lasting mentoring matches than programs that implemented fewer of these benchmark practices. Also, children of incarcerated parents who participated in mentoring programs that provided specialized training for mentors on issues associated with mentoring such youth experienced longer and stronger matches and had higher educational expectations compared with mentees whose programs did not provide such specialized training. The researchers used a longitudinal design across studies, using two archival datasets that included the web-based MentorPro software system and the Agency Information Management database that Big Brothers Big Sisters of America developed. Both databases were designed for administrative purposes to track and monitor mentoring relationships. The study also administered web-based surveys to assess program practices for a subset of 45 Big Brothers Big Sisters-affiliated agencies. Researchers also conducted follow-up semi-structured telephone interviews with agency leaders after they had completed the program practices self-assessment questionnaire. 3 resource listings

Date Published: November 1, 2017