ERIC Number: ED336649
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-May-2
Reference Count: 0
Young Adolescents Describe the Encouraging Adult Who Would Listen to Them.
Stiles, Deborah A.; And Others
It has been suggested that adolescents in the United States do not get enough individual attention and guidance from adults. This study was conducted to investigate the relationships adolescents have with adult friends or mentors. Eighth- and ninth-grade students (N=299) completed anonymous surveys about discussing important things with other adolescents, adult relatives, or mentors. In addition, 21 mentors and 11 adolescents were interviewed. The results revealed that the majority of the students (87.3%) reported discussing important things with other adolescents; many students (67.2%) discussed important topics with adult relatives; but fewer students (31.4%) discussed important things with a teacher, coach, or neighbor. Almost all respondents reported that they could imagine a mentor, and that person would be encouraging, goal-directed, and inspiring. Several sex differences were found, with girls being more likely than boys to discuss important things with adult relatives of the same sex, to discuss friendship with peers and adults, and to feel helped by friends, relatives, and mentors. In interviews, adolescents reported wanting an adult friend who would be easy to talk to and trustworthy. Mentors who were interviewed stressed the importance of being open and trustworthy. Their advice to other adults was to give an adolescent honest, supportive praise and help the adolescent to find his or her own solutions to problems. (NB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association (63rd, Chicago, IL, May 2-4, 1991).