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Testing the Impact of Mentor Training and Peer Support on the Quality of Mentor-Mentee Relationships and Outcomes for At-Risk Youth

NCJ Number
Date Published
This evaluation investigated the impact of Enhanced Mentor Training and Peer Support for mentors on the quality of mentor-mentee relationships and mentee outcomes.
Results from the evaluation of mentee outcomes largely confirmed a null hypothesis of no impact. Findings did not show any meaningful differences between treatment groups across several key items; however, rather than infer that the treatment condition is not affecting mentee outcomes, the evaluators believe there are systematic issues with data validity that should be further explored. Among the entire final sample population (n=110), findings in a binary logistic regression model indicated that treatment type was a significant predictor of the likelihood of early match closure. Members of the control group were statistically more likely to experience early closure than those in the Peer Support and Interaction group. This finding was the strongest evidence in support of ongoing enhanced training and support activities. Regarding program implementation, the tracking system set weekly performance measures for enrollment specialists to maximize staff capacity. Evaluators believe that mentoring agencies would benefit from incorporating similar data-driven management techniques into standard operating procedures. Research was conducted in conjunction with an affiliate of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America in Harrisonburg, VA, an established mentoring program that has consistently surpassed national standards in all areas of quality metrics. A total of 459 matches were enrolled in the 3-year study. Researchers used a between-subject experimental design with three randomly assigned intervention groups: mentor training, peer support, and an interaction intervention. 23 figures, 43 tables, extensive references, and appended details of methodological tools and procedures
Date Created: June 4, 2015