Posts

From “out of the park” mentoring relationships to consistent, evidence-based approaches

by Jean Rhodes

For years, I was stubbornly convinced that formal mentoring programs should focus mostly on creating and maintaining deep, emotional bonds. I saw attempts to scale back on relationship length and strength, or to rely on curricula, as … Read the rest

Complicated lives, complicated excuses

by Jean Rhodes

I maintain an email file of the student excuses I’ve received in my 20 years as a professor at UMass Boston. Some are predictable for college students, “I spilled coke on my computer and it turned off … Read the rest

What do Americans think (and do) about mentoring?: Important new report sheds light

by Jean Rhodes and Matthew Hagler

With the release of a comprehensive new report on the scope of both structured and informal mentoring, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership has provided the field with important new data about the scope of … Read the rest

Shoulda. coulda. woulda: What listening to Joe Durlak might have done

by Jean Rhodes

In 1979, a young psychologist named Joe Durlak published a controversial study in Psychological Bulletin that sent ripples through the helping professions. What Durlak sought to do was to combine all published studies that had compared the Read the rest

New study shows lifelong influence of mentors: But there’s a catch

 by Jean E. Rhodes

It almost goes without saying that natural mentors can be enormously influential– from early childhood through adolescence and early adulthood (Shonkoff & Phillips, 2000; Lerner & Theocas, 2006; Erickson et al., 2015). But, because such relationships Read the rest

The Science is Clear: Separating Families has Long-term Damaging Psychological and Health Consequences for Children, Families, and Communities

Editor’s Note: Given national events, and our field’s commitment to the lives of vulnerable youth, I devote this week’s column to an expert statement by from the Society for Research on Child Development (SRCD) on the effects of separating families. Read the rest

Who exactly was Mentor?: A stunning revelation and some important lessons

by Jean Rhodes

Researchers and practitioners often refer to Homer’s Odyssey, when discussing the ancient roots of mentoring. In it Odysseus appoints an old friend, Mentor, to watch over his household and son, Telemachus, in his absence during the Trojan Read the rest

“Then a miracle occurs:” Why we need a better understanding of youth mentoring

by Jean Rhodes

Early in my career, I developed a conceptual model of youth mentoring that, to my surprise, has been a remarkably durable and useful heuristic. It has been applied to formal and natural mentoring relationships and used to Read the rest

What is the “single greatest threat to children’s well-being:” And how can mentoring help?

by Jean Rhodes

“The way a problem is defined determines not only what is done about it, but also what is not done—or what apparently need not be done.”  

Caplan, N., & Nelson, S. D. (1973). On being useful: The … Read the rest

A pyramid scheme for mentoring programs: Well, not exactly

Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.

John F. Kennedy

by Jean Rhodes

Although most youth interventions are developed in response to particular needs or goals, mentoring programs were conceived more broadly as an extension of informal Read the rest