Editors Blog

What we talk about when we talk about transference

An exquisite example of mentor transference

by Jean Rhodes

Transference is what happens when someone redirects unconscious feelings about one person onto someone else. In mentoring, a mentee might redirect his or her feelings, such as anger/disappointment with a parent, frustration with a teacher, ambivalence toward … Read the rest

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. … Read the rest

Winner takes all?: Mentoring programs in the age of inequality

By Jean Rhodes

In his recent best-selling book, Winner Takes All, writer Anand Giridharadas sheds light on the complexities and potentially self-serving nature of focusing on individual solutions and one-off opportunities in an unjust world. Through this lens, private Read the rest

Grabbing the fourth cookie: On luck, entitlement, and mentors

by Jean Rhodes

Here’s a story for graduation season. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to attend a commencement address at Princeton University. The speaker, writer Michael Lewis, described a study in which researchers divided UC Berkeley students Read the rest

Challenging the “Dodo Bird Verdict” in Youth Mentoring

by Jean Rhodes

In 1936, psychologist Saul Rosenzweig coined the term “Dodo Bird Verdict” to illustrate the frequent claims that all helping relationships are roughly equivalent in terms of their effectiveness. Rosenzweig evoked a scene in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, … Read the rest

10 research-based tips for building strong helping relationships with youth

by Jean Rhodes

Particularly since good working relationships between youth and mentors are the stock and trade of formal mentoring programs, it is surprising that the field has not sought to more directly benefit from the decades of careful clinical Read the rest

I dunno, what do you wanna do?: Mismatched expectations and lost opportunities to help

by Jean Rhodes

In 2010, mentoring researchers Michael Karcher, Carla Herrera, and Keoki Hansen observed that, “Mentors are often given little guidance in what to talk about or do with their mentees, though many argue that what they do together Read the rest

K-12 Corner: "You can't give what you ain't got" - Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring

Three important mentoring tips from a relationship guru

by Jean Rhodes

Relationship expert John Gottman has spent his career defining the attitudes and skills that lead to strong friendships in marriage, many of which apply well to a range of friendships, including mentorships. In the following sections, three … Read the rest

Opportunity (and mentor) hoarding in America

by Matthew Hagler & Jean Rhodes

The latest admissions scandal is just a salacious example of the broad, systematic inequality in education that gives certain young people a major leg up. We all know that unequal educational opportunity does not … Read the rest

Five key takeaways from a comprehensive new meta-analysis of youth mentoring

By Jean Rhodes (excerpted and summarized from publication)

Along with our colleagues, we recently released a comprehensive meta-analysis of youth mentoring: Raposa, E. B., Rhodes, J., Stams, G.J., Card, N., Burton, S., Schwartz, S., Sykes, L.Y., Kanchewa, S., Kupersmidt, J., … Read the rest