Expert Corner

What Poverty Does to the Young Brain

BY MADELINE OSTRANDER For a growing child, deprivation and stress can become a kind of neurotoxin. The brain’s foundation, frame, and walls are built in the womb. As an embryo grows into a fetus, some of its dividing cells turn into neurons, arranging themselves into layers and forming the first synapses, the organ’s electrical wiring. […]

Methods Corner: What is an effect size?

by Adar Ben-Eliyahu, Ph.D. Most studies focus on “statistical significance,” or the probability that certain findings are reflected in the data. To test this, researchers actually propose a “null hypothesis,”  (e.g., mentoring has no effect on self-esteem). If the data show that the null hypothesis has less than a 5% chance of being right, we […]

On Methods: What’s a meta-analysis, anyways?

ay 1, 2019/by Jean Rhodes by Adar Ben-Eliyahu, Ph.D. Senior Lecturer (Assistant Professor), University of Haifa There is often considerable fanfare when a new meta-analysis is published. What’s the excitement about anyways? Don’t most meta-analyses seem to be saying things we already know from previous research? This is somewhat true, as meta-analyses summarize previous research findings. […]

How do we know that mentoring works?: The many benefits of experimental designs

by Adar Ben-Eliyahu, Ph.D. Senior Lecturer (Assistant Professor), University of Haifa How do we know that mentoring works? How do we know that a child would not have improved anyways? The best way to understand whether programs affect youth outcomes is to compare groups of children who are the same in every way—except that some […]

A funder’s guide to identifying high quality mentoring programs: From indicators to red flags

Editor’s Note:  Through a series of posts, we present, “Making the Most of Youth Mentoring: A Guide for Funders”  In this post, Dr. Carla Herrera surveys different approaches to mentoring, highlighting the positive indicators and red flags Original Publisher(s): Public/Private Ventures. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License, with permission from the Foundation Center). […]

Creating a Culturally Relevant Mentoring Program for Girls of Color

By Bernadette Sanchez, Ph.D. Not too long ago, my colleagues and I created a mentoring program, called GirlPOWER!, for African American and Latina early adolescent girls. Our goal was to ensure that the program was gender specific as well as culturally and developmentally appropriate. We created the program in collaboration with Big Brothers Big Sisters […]

The Promise and Potential of Mentors in Combating the Opioid Cris

by Michael Garringer (originally published on the NMRC blog) The last year has seen an increasingly bright spotlight shined on one of the nation’s most damaging and pernicious challenges: the struggle of many communities and individual citizens with opioid addiction. It seems that the nation is just now coming to grips with the depth and […]

CareGiver-Initiated Mentoring (CG-IM): Pushing the Envelope on Parent Involvement

Written by Timothy A. Cavell, PhD Professor J. William Fulbright College of Arts & Sciences Department of Psychological Science University of Arkansas Three years ago, I had the good fortune of being in Boston for a symposium on mentoring research co-sponsored by Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Canada, MENTOR, and the University of Massachusetts-Boston. Our […]

What is peer review and why do we need it?

By Adar Ben-Eliyahu, Ph.D. Assistant Professor at University of Haifa Peer review refers to a process used for evaluating published academic work, grant proposals, etc. You may think of this process as similar to that of a teacher looking over their students’ work, except that, instead of teachers and students, it is expert colleagues. Who are […]

Ask Not What Your Mentor Can Do for You. . .: The Role of Reciprocal Exchange in Maintaining Student–Teacher Mentorships

Editor’s note: I stumbled across this impressive study and, more generally, the work of rising star, Sherelle Ferguson. Sherelle is a doctoral student in the sociology dept. at the University of Pennsylvania where she has been studying mentoring, social class, and social networks. This study explores the important role that mentees play in maintaining relationships, […]