Older and (hopefully) wiser: A forthcoming book about youth mentoring

by Jean Rhodes I wrote Stand by Me: The risks and rewards of mentoring today’s youth fifteen years ago—my first, and what I assumed would be my final, book-length manuscript on the topic. As I write a second book on mentoring, I am struck by just how much has changed in the ensuing years. Although […]

Slow ideas and the power of mentoring

by Jean Rhodes In a recent New Yorker article, “Slow Ideas,” science writer Atul Gawande laments the resistance amongst medical professionals and others to adopt innovation. He describes how, despite evidence, physicians were slow to warm up to Joseph Lister’s simple methods of sterilization. And, in a recent visit to a hospital in northern India, Gawande described […]

Navigating internet risks: Mentors can help show the way

Written by Matt Swayne The online world is full of risky situations for teens, but allowing them to gradually build their own coping strategies may be a better parental strategy than forbidding internet use, according to a team of researchers. The researchers, who monitored web-based diaries of a group of 68 teen internet users during […]

In praise of mentors: Miss Blanchard, Mr. P, and the many caring adults who change our lives

I bid farewell to my dad on a brisk November morning in 1979. After our hugs, I climbed onto my new yellow moped, sped down our steep driveway, and headed toward school. It seemed odd to be arriving at school so early on a Saturday morning, but I was joined by other seniors who were also taking the […]

The Next Generation of Evidence-Based Policy

By Vivian Tseng When we began this blog series, we posited that evidence-based policymaking was at a crossroads. In the past six months—despite rancorous partisan debates and a fierce presidential primary season—Congress surprised everyone and passed the long overdue re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, with strong support from both parties. The Every […]

Big Mentoring News from Europe

By Jean Rhodes Last Thursday 3/17, the first European Mentoring Summit was held in the Netherlands. Officials from the European Union as well as researchers and mentoring practitioners from over 15 countries across Europe and the UK attended and shared ideas. It was truly amazing to learn about all the variations of innovative mentoring approaches that are […]


Can you trust the latest findings? It depends….

by Jean Rhodes In a recent review of meta-analyses, researchers Alan Cheung and Robert Slavin found that certain types of evaluations yielded larger effect sizes than others. Larger effects emerged in studies where the researchers created their own questionnaires, instead of relying on well-validated questionnaires. Homegrown questionnaires might include items that are very specific to the knowledge and […]

What we talk about when we talk about evidence

By Jean Rhodes “Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.”  Ann Landers The summit is upon us, and many of us will optimistic tagline is “Mentoring Works.” Despite this assertion, the researchers in attendance will, no doubt, be wringing our collective hands about the relatively small effect sizes that have […]

The Long-Term Economic Benefits of Natural Mentoring Relationships for Youth

 Timpe, Z. & Lunkenheimer, E. (2015) American Journal of Community Psychology. Sep2015, Vol. 56 Issue 1/2, p12-24. 13p. 3 Charts. DOI: 10.1007/s10464-015-9735-x from the abstract: Natural mentors have been shown to help improve psychological and educational outcomes of youth, and may serve an important role for youth experiencing risk in the home. Using data from […]

On Mentoring and Perennials

By Jean Rhodes and Belle Liang. Spring is in the air in Boston and the flowers are finally beginning to bloom, so it seems like as good a time as any to share with you a commentary on mentoring that draws inspiration from gardening. It’s an updated version of a column that was written with […]