Editors Blog

Mentoring + supportive accountability = game changer

Four ways that mentors can help address the mental health crisis

By Jean Rhodes Since the early 1990’s, the major risks facing young people have shifted from physical struggles like teen pregnancy and substance to mental health struggles like anxiety, depression, suicide and self-harm. Indeed,  the American Academy of Pediatrics recently issued a report noting that “mental health disorders are the most common cause cause of […]

Deconstructing “risk” in youth mentoring programs

By Cyanea Poon and Jean Rhodes Mentoring programs and researchers often try to get some sense of the “risk factors” facing their mentees. To do so, they often tally up everything from family poverty and marginalization to personal struggles with mental health or friendship.  In a recent study (Poon, Herrera, Jarjoura, Keller, McQuillin, Keller, T., […]

How mentoring programs can help address the youth mental health crisis

By Jean Rhodes The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recent released a report warning of a worsening mental health crisis among adolescents. In a recent large survey ( N =7,700), more than 40% of young people reported feeling  “persistently sad or hopeless,” with 20% saying they have contemplated suicide.  As the Deputy Director noted, […]

Like compulsive gold miners: Reflecting on five (and counting) new meta-analyses

By Jean Rhodes My colleagues and I began conducting meta-analyses of youth mentoring programs around five years ago and we can’t seem to stop. Like compulsive gold miners, we find ourselves returning to this method, again and again, hoping to uncover yet another helpful nugget. A meta-analysis combines the results of multiple evaluations to determine […]

Why do some mentoring relationships “click” while others fail?

by Jean Rhodes Even the most caring, consistent mentors may struggle to connect with certain youth, while other matches just seem to click from the start. Researchers have found that the quality of adult-youth relationships is conditioned by a wide range of individual, family, and contextual influences, including: 1.  Interpersonal History Children and adolescents who […]

How therapeutic mentoring can help bridge gaps in mental health care

By Jean Rhodes An estimated two-thirds U.S. children and adolescents who suffer from mental health problems will never receive professional care. What’s more BIPOC youth are about half as likely as White youth to access services and receive evidence-based care.  As my colleagues and I have argued, the field of mentoring is well-positioned to step […]

Introduction to issue sponsored by Along

By Ben Houltberg, Ph.D., LMFT (President & CEO of The Search Institute) and Jean Rhodes, Ph.D. (Director of The Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring ) Many of the articles, profiles, and research summaries in this Chronicle issue, sponsored by Along, focus on the importance of teacher-student relationships. They highlight the role of teachers in promoting students’ […]

Recent meta-analysis highlights the promise of cross-age peer mentoring

by Jean Rhodes Although several meta-analyses of intergenerational mentoring programs have been conducted, my colleagues and I recently conducted the first comprehensive meta-analysis of cross-age peer mentoring programs for youth. Based on the doctoral dissertation of Samantha Burton, Ph.D., the study shows some potentially promising results. Indeed, analyses revealed a medium-sized overall effect of cross-age […]

Building a “Sound Relationship House” in mentoring

by Jean Rhodes In his Sound Relationship House Theory, psychologist and marriage guru John Gottman defines the attitudes and skills that lead to strong friendships in marriage, delineating them as the “floors” or principles of good marriage. These align with research on how to build strong “working alliances” with children and adolescents in therapy. These also […]