ERIC Number: ED356287
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
The Mentoring Relationship in Action.
IUME Briefs, n3 Aug 1992
Mentoring is now a very popular, but loosely defined, feature of many programs for youth. The heart of mentoring is the relationship between the youth and the mentor, but little is actually known about this relationship. Mentoring should not be limited to at-risk youth, since many average students or underachievers from stable backgrounds may benefit from the boost that mentoring can provide. As it exists now, mentoring expresses two basic ideals and meets two basic social agendas: (1) to take care of youth, and (2) to make youth more resourceful. In the mentoring relationship, the youth and the mentor engage in joint activities in which an interpersonal attraction makes it possible for the youth to learn something from someone he or she has come to trust and admire. The relationship has social and psychological dimensions. A essential aspect is the identification with the adult that the youth experiences, an identification that helps the youth build a sense of self. It has been argued that the minority youth needs a minority mentor. It is true that a mentor outside the youth's ethnic and cultural world cannot easily understand that world, but this does not mean that he or she cannot be a good mentor. Relationships with unrelated adults outside the immediate family can help youth become more psychologically and emotionally resilient. If youth today cannot bring resilience to the relationships they form naturally, it can be brought to them through mentoring experiences. (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Adults, At Risk Persons, Cultural Differences, Disadvantaged Youth, Educationally Disadvantaged, High Risk Students, Identification (Psychology), Interpersonal Relationship, Low Achievement, Mentors, Minority Groups, Modeling (Psychology), Personality Traits, Self Concept, Urban Youth, Youth Programs
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Collected Works - Serials
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chicago, IL.
Authoring Institution: Columbia Univ., New York, NY. Inst. for Urban and Minority Education.