U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Towards improving engagement of youth of color in cross-age mentoring programs in high poverty, high crime neighborhoods

NCJ Number
Children and Youth Services Review Volume: 128 Dated: 2021
Date Published

This study examined predictors of attendance in a cross-age youth mentoring program offered in four high-poverty, high-crime communities.


Youth in greatest need of after-school and summer interventions are those living in such communities, but programs are scarce. More specific to mentoring programs that do exist, past research has demonstrated the significance of attendance as a predictor of positive outcomes. Two datasets were combined for this study: The Saving Lives, Inspiring Youth (SLIY) mentoring program dataset and a neighborhood database. OLS regression results show that for all participants, traveling from a lower-crime home area to a program in a higher-crime area was negatively related to attendance, as was age. In addition to crime, variables related to attendance for mentors included stress, perceived family resources, and race; whereas, age and having a sister were related to attendance for mentees. Implications for program designers and policymakers are discussed. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2021