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ERIC Number: ED546446
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 180
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2676-6136-4
Are Good Intentions Enough? An Investigation of How Mentor Experiences and Expertise Affect Mentor-Mentee Relationship Development and Targeted Youth Outcomes
Silverstein, Lauren A.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
In the United States, youth mentoring programs are becoming an increasingly popular educational partnership between community adults and local children. Even though programs rely on mentors to help achieve the desired outcomes, very little is known about "what matters" in a mentor. Adhering to functionalist, human capital, teacher quality and possible selves theories, this study examines if certain mentor experiences and expertise including motivation, education and knowledge areas facilitate relationship development and positive changes in the mentee's future possible self. A secondary data analysis, this study involved survey responses from 119 mentor-mentee pairs involved in a citywide mentoring program. Multiple regression was used to examine the relationship between the explanatory mentor characteristics and the relationship and youth outcome variables along three different paths: (1) effect of mentor attributes on relationship quality; (2) effect of mentor attributes on mentee future possible self; and (3) effect of mentor attributes on mentee future possible self; accounting for relationship quality. Perceptions of relationship quality and changes in mentee's future possible self are measured by the program's most important stakeholders: the youth. This study confirmed prior research that suggests relationship quality is positive and significant in yielding targeted youth outcomes. However, this study extends the research in several important areas. First, certain mentor domains such as prior experiences with youth and with program content affect their ability to develop high-quality relationships. Second, even when high-quality relationships exist, certain mentor domains further facilitate or hinder their ability to achieve targeted youth outcomes. As such, this study establishes an inter-dependent relationship between relationship quality and future mentee outcomes suggesting mentoring programs must understand mentor quality by their ability to develop high quality relationships with youth and their ability to affect longer-term outcomes. This study offers more precise recommendations to programs by summarizing the mentor experiences and expertise that were found to be both significant and insignificant in facilitating high relationship quality and the longer-term outcome of changes in the mentee future possible self. Programs can use these findings to inform their mentor recruitment, selection and retention strategies. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A