New study explores how personalities affect mentoring relationships

Telemachus_and_Mentor2By Limor Goldner

Goldner, L. (2015). Prote ge´s’ Personality Traits, Expectations, the Quality of the Mentoring Relationship and Adjustment: A Big Five Analysis, Child Youth Care Forum. Online 26 May.


Background   Community-based mentoring interventions can benefit high-risk youth.  However, meta-analyses suggest that these benefits may be conditioned by protégés’ personality.

Objectives   Associations between protégés’ personality traits and mentoring expectations, the quality of the mentoring relationship, the perceived mentoring contribution, and levels of adjustment at the end of mentoring were explored using the Big Five model. In addition, the possible moderation of protégés’ personality traits on the relationship between the quality of the mentoring relationship and protégés’ level of adjustment at the end of the intervention and the perceived benefits of mentoring was explored.

Methods   Self-reports from Protégés, parents, and teachers were used in a prospective research design. The sample consisted of 167 Protégés (mean age = 9.58) from Perach, the largest community-based mentoring program in Israel.

Results   Protégés’ agreeableness, extraversion, and openness were positively associated with their expectations. Agreeableness was positively associated with the quality of the relationship. Agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness were positively associated with protégés’ social and academic adjustment at the end of mentoring, and with the perceived contribution of mentoring, whereas neuroticism and extraversion were negatively associated. protégés’ personality traits moderated the correlations between the quality of the relationship and their conduct self-concept, as well as the parents’ perceived mentoring contribution.

Conclusion This study highlights the contribution of protégés’ personality in shaping their ability to benefit from mentoring in terms of adjustment and perceived contribution of mentoring.