Editors Blog

Five important takeaways from a new meta-analysis

Poon, C. Y. S., Christensen, K. M., & Rhodes, J. E. (2021). A Meta-analysis of the Effects of Mentoring on Youth in Foster Care. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-021-01472-6 By Jean Rhodes, Cyanea Poon, and Kirsten Christensen Introduction  Research suggests that mentoring programs may promote a range of positive outcomes in youth populations. Less is known, […]

The road ahead: Task shifting, stepped care, and paraprofessional mentoring

by Jean Rhodes As millions of children and adolescents cope with COVID-related loss, disruption, and social isolation, the demand for mental health services, including those provided by psychologists, counselors, and social workers, are expected to vastly exceed the supply. Even before the pandemic, less than a third of children and adolescents who needed mental health […]

Should mentors discuss COVID-19 vaccines with their mentees? It’s complicated.

by Jean Rhodes The CDC recently provided valuable guidance on how to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine, including listening with empathy and asking open-ended questions. Likewise, last week, an NPR Health News report answered teens’ most pressing questions about the vaccine. These are useful resources, as teens tend to rely heavily on social media and can […]

Youth-initiated mentoring: A scalable approach to addressing mental health problems

Viewpoint (Reprinted from the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry, Published online April 28, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2021.0490) By Levi van Dam,  Jean Rhodes, and Renée Spencer, Although adolescents have lower COVID-19 infection rates compared with adults, the pandemic is taking a toll on young people’s mental health. There have been multiple reports of increases in […]

“Black Box Thinking:” Drawing on disappointing findings to improve youth mentoring programs

by Jean Rhodes After a plane crash, investigators examine black box data to determine what went wrong and to make the necessary changes to protect against future incidents. Unfortunately,  that is not always the case in evaluations of prevention programs. In fact, we often find it easier to reframe and dismiss disappointing results than to […]

Getting to Carnegie Hall: Why practicing skills is a “best practice” in mentoring

by Jean Rhodes Chances are you’ve heard about the pedestrian on 57th Street who sees a musician getting out of a cab and asks, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” Without pause, the musician replies “Practice.” Indeed, when it comes to any skill, from music and sports to academics and social-emotional learning, practice makes […]

Charlotte, Wilbur, and the myth of the selfless mentor

Why did you do all this for me?” [Wilbur] asked. “I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.” “You have been my friend,” replied Charlotte. “By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift my life a trifle. Heaven knows, anyone’s life can stand a little of that.” E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web By […]

Wait, what?!: Shorter, less intensive mentoring relationships can be just as effective

by Jean Rhodes I think we can all agree that a good working relationship is a necessary ingredient of all successful mentoring. It can provide a safe, supportive foundation for learning new skills and navigating challenging topics and tasks. In one mentoring program, for example, high school seniors who had expressed an interest in college, […]

Are supportive relationships enough? The great debate continues

by Jean Rhodes In their provocative new paper, Back to the Future: Mentoring as Means and End in Promoting Child Mental Health, mentoring experts Tim Cavell, Renée Spencer & Sam D. McQuillin make the case for several approaches, including the “supportive mentoring” approach, wherein the “mentoring relationship is not intended as a targeted intervention designed to produce […]

Mentoring in the era of COVID-19: Nine experts in the field weigh in

By Justin Preston and Monica Arkin Featuring Dr. Tim Cavell,  Janet Forbush, Michael Garringer, Dr. Samuel Dale McQuillin , Dr. Òscar Prieto-Flores, Dr. Bernadette Sánchez, Szilvia Simon, Dr. Renée Spencer, & Dr. Lindsey Weiler  Additional experts mentioned in this piece: Dr. Torie Weiston-Serdan, Steve Vassor, Dr. Noelle Hurd, & Dr. Belle Liang The world seems […]