Research from Related Fields

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

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 […]

Developing Emotional Literacy: Transition Planning for Youth at Risk

Fleischer, L. (2010). Developing emotional literacy: Transition planning for youth at risk. Reclaiming Children & Youth, 19 (1), 50-53. Summarized by UMass Boston doctoral student Laura Yovienne. Problem: Transitioning from high school to the “real world” can be a daunting and very anxiety-provoking task. Typical transition classes and planning tend to focus on learning the […]

When kids expect hostility, they get hostile

When children expect aggression from others, it may cause them to be overly aggressive themselves, a new study finds. While the pattern is more common in some cultures than others, a four-year longitudinal study involving 1,299 children and their parents finds it is true in 12 different cultural groups from nine countries around the globe. […]

Trauma-exposed children: The importance of talking in the healing process

Posted by Jonathan McVerry-Penn State A new study shows that adolescent girls who experienced maltreatment in the past year and were willing to talk about their painful experiences and their thoughts and emotions were less likely to have PTSD symptoms one year later. Those who tried to avoid painful thoughts and emotions were significantly more […]