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Project Research to Action in Mentoring, Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2013
17 pages
Methodology and outcomes are presented for the Project Research to Action in Mentoring, which compared the effectiveness of one-on-one mentoring to group mentoring in reducing delinquency among youth at risk for problem behaviors.
Although the data presented do not indicate any differences in one-on-one compared to group mentoring outcomes, the sample sizes were small and implementation issues handicapped the group mentoring effort. Thus, there was more success in maintaining mentoring relationships when they were one-on-one. The project was successful in recruiting the targeted number of youth who represented varying levels of risk for delinquent behavior based on their baseline self-reported problem behaviors; however, due to challenges in maintaining matches, the sample sizes across the mentoring types, stratified by three levels of risk, were not sufficiently large to test this goal of the research. In exploring differences in long-term (12 months and 18 months) outcomes for group mentoring compared to one-on-one mentoring and risk levels, those youth who were assessed at 18 months, when the mentoring relationship had ended, did not differ in their scores from baseline, indicating that no significant changes had occurred. The sample size was too small to conduct analyses across mentoring type and risk levels. The project was a collaborative effort between the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Alliance for Families & Communities Affected by Incarceration (AFCAI), and Better Family Life (BFL). AFCAI and BFL were selected due to their established community-based mentoring programs that target at-risk youth. Both agencies agreed to undertake the research study by incorporating randomization and systematic programming into their existing mentoring approaches. This report describes the research design, mentoring models, sample characteristics for youth and mentors, the matching procedure, and performance measures. Implementation issues and challenges are also discussed. 2 figures, 2 tables, and 14 references

Date Published: December 1, 2013