Research from Related Fields

A summary of research from psychology, sociology and other fields as it relates to youth mentoring.

Volunteering is linked to better mental and physical health in adults

Kim, E. S., Whillans, A. V., Lee, M. T., Chen, Y., & VanderWeele, T. J. (2020). Volunteering and Subsequent Health and Well-Being in Older Adults: An Outcome-Wide Longitudinal Approach. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2020.03.004 Summarized by Monica Arkin Notes of Interest: Researchers find physical and mental health benefits for adults ages 50+ who volunteer […]

New measure assesses whether youth’s relational needs are being met

Zvelc, G., Jovanoska, K., & Zvelc, M. (2020). Development and validation of the relational needs satisfaction scale. Frontiers in Psychology, 11(901). Summarized by Monica Arkin Notes of Interest: The Relational Needs Satisfaction Scale is a 20-item measure assessing how well relational needs are being met Relational needs are important throughout the lifespan and can only […]

Transference: A rarely acknowledged dimension of youth mentoring relationships - Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring

Why are some therapists better than others: Implications for mentors

By Amy Novotney, APA Why are some psychologists better at providing therapy than others? “It’s quite surprising how little research has been devoted to [answering this question], particularly given its importance in psychotherapy training,” says Bruce Wampold, PhD, of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. But that dearth of knowledge is about to change, thanks to a […]

Mentoring and the New Science of “Wise Interventions”

  In his influential paper, The New Science of Wise Intervention, Stanford psychologist Gregory Walton argued for the importance of first developing psychologically precise theories of change that target the processes (e.g., maladaptive thoughts, behaviors, feelings, environments) that impede thriving and then developing interventions that efficiently target and alter these processes. Changes in these processes […]

New research suggests how parental incarceration may affect youth health outcomes

Gifford, E. J., Eldred Kozecke, L., Golonka, M., Hill, S. N., Costello, E. J., Shanahan, L., & Copeland, W. E. (2019). Association of Parental Incarceration With Psychiatric and Functional Outcomes of Young Adults. JAMA Network Open, 2(8), e1910005. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.10005 Summarized by Jeremy Astesano Notes of Interest: This longitudinal study followed children from rural North Carolina […]

Five skills for navigating the transition to adulthood

by Jean Rhodes I’m sometimes alarmed that so many of my undergraduates seem adrift and unclear about their futures. I find myself wondering how they can bring themselves to pay tuition, go to class, study for tests, and go about their daily lives without a detailed, ambitious plan for their future careers. But, I’ve come to realize that […]

Research applies sociological concepts to mentoring programs

Stanton-Salazar, R. (2016). Contributions of social capital theory and social network models in advancing the connection between students’ school-based learning and community-based opportunities for pursuing interest-driven learning. Paper presented at Power Brokers: Building Youth Social Capital through Connected Learning. University of California, Irvine.   Summarized by Justin Preston In a paper presented in the Fall […]

How ‘grit’ takes a toll on black college students

By Joan Brasher Researchers have documented that black college students draw on ‘grit’—mental toughness and perseverance—to achieve in predominantly white academic institutions. But a new Vanderbilt study says that notion fails to recognize an emerging mental health crisis for these students. “Weathering the cumulative effects of living in a society characterized by white dominance and […]

Advice for Men Who Are Nervous About Mentoring Women

By Wendy Murphy, From Harvard Business Review Many senior male managers are reportedly responding to the #MeToo movement with a better-safe-than-sorry attitude and are pulling back from mentoring women. This backlash has little basis in reality. False accusations of sexual harassment are about 2%, the same as any other crime. Aside from being biased, this reaction is also […]

Volunteering in public schools boosts seniors’ memories

The memory center in the brains of seniors who volunteered in public schools for two years maintained their size, rather than shrinking as part of the normal aging process, report researchers. The findings suggest that retirees who take part in meaningful social activity can prevent shrinkage in their brains’ memory centers and avert age-related cognitive problems. In […]