Mentee Risk Status and Mentoring Program Practices as Predictors of Match Outcomes.
OJJDP-Funded (Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention) Research in Brief ; NCJ 251393
United States Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
Published: November 2017
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A study examined data from hundreds of mentoring programs to determine whether mentee risk and mentoring program practices predicted match longevity and strength, along with other outcomes. It also examined these outcomes for subpopulations of at-risk youth that are often served by mentoring programs, including children with an incarcerated parent and youth in foster care. Findings indicate higher risk children and adolescents (defined as exhibiting more antisocial or risky health behaviors, or having been exposed to more personal or familial risk factors) were more likely to have a mentoring relationship end early than those with fewer risk factors; mentoring relationships that began when mentees were adolescents were at greater risk for premature closure compared to relationships that began during childhood; children of incarcerated parents have shorter mentoring relationships and have lower grades, school attendance, and parental trust after 1 year of mentoring; mentees in foster care also had shorter mentoring relationships and were in matches that were more likely to close prematurely; programs that implemented more of the benchmark practices in the “Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring” had longer lasting matches than programs that implemented fewer benchmark practices; and children of incarcerated parents participating in mentoring programs that provided specialized training to their mentors on issues associated with mentoring this population experienced longer and stronger matches and had higher educational expectations than children whose programs did not offer specialized mentor training. Policy and practice implications are discussed. 3 references.
mentor programs; foster children; risk factors; therapeutic effectiveness; early intervention programs; promising practices; children of prisoners; professional training