Editors Blog

Three logical fallacies that persist in youth mentoring

by Jean Rhodes Mentoring has come a long way in recent years. Programs are increasingly embracing evidence-based approaches and recent meta-analyses have shown the benefits of more targeted approaches. Nonetheless, there remain  three fairly persistent fallacies in our field that have distracted programs from the difficult work of creating effective, enduring relationships. But once we […]

Scaling supportive accountability and the future of mentoring relationships

By Julia Freeland Fisher, Christensen Institute Last spring, I had the chance to speak with Jean Rhodes, a leading researcher in the world of mentoring, and author of the book Older and Wiser: New Ideas for Youth Mentoring in the 21st Century. For schools managing yet another year of pandemic upheavals, Rhodes’ findings offer a […]

Creating a culture of belonging: How teachers and mentors can help students navigate the return to in-person learning

by Jean E Rhodes School closures and the loss of face-to face instruction remain persistent struggles as schools work to contain COVID-19. In recent months, researchers have begun to publish studies and reports that have explored the academic and social toll that these closures have taken on students academic and social-emotional well-being. In a new […]

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, […]

“There’s an App for that!”: How technology-delivered interventions could revolutionize mentoring

by Jean Rhodes In an influential chapter, mentoring researchers Timothy Cavell and Chris Elledge (2014) argued that the field of youth mentoring needs to move from the common “relationship as intervention” model (i.e., the friendship model where the primary goal is form a close bond) to a “relationship as a context for intervention” model. In this latter […]

The road ahead: The promise of 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 […]