Posts

5 features of highly effective mentoring relationships

by Jean Rhodes Mentoring programs can vary widely, but all depend on a caring relationship. How can programs ensure that relationships are sufficiently strong and enduring to accomplish whatever other goals they are hoping to achieve?  Fortunately, decades of research has converged on a core features or “common factors” that appear to be present in […]

Empathy – A Critical Ingredient in Youth Mentoring Relationships?

by Renee Spencer Working on a poster my colleagues and I presented at the Society for Research on Adolescence gave me a great excuse to look at the recent psychotherapy literature on empathy. As a clinical social worker, the psychotherapy literature is like a dear old friend to me. I enjoy catching up on the […]

Discussing the unspeakable: Steps to foster conversations in the wake of tragedy

Editor’s Note: In light of recent events resulting in the death of 17 people in a school shooting in Parkland, FL, the eighth school shooting that has resulted in death or injury in the US since January 1, 2018, we are re-posting an article first published in October of last year. The context may be […]

New research investigates empathy and ethnic identity in mentoring for minority girls

Peifer, J. S., Lawrence, E. C., Williams, J. L., & Leyton-Armakan, J. (2016). The culture of mentoring: Ethnocultural empathy and ethnic identity in mentoring for minority girls. Cultural Diversity And Ethnic Minority Psychology, 22(3), 440-446. doi:10.1037/cdp0000078 Summarized by Bri Santaniello   Introduction Research all over the world shows mentoring can contribute various positive outcomes in […]

How to mentor a narcissist: Six strategies for working with difficult mentees

Editor’s note: Surprisingly few studies have looked at how personality characteristics and disorders affect mentoring relationships. This is unfortunate, given how influential a young person’s personality can be in shaping interactions and outcomes (Turban & Lee, 2007).   In fact, a recently highlighted study, showed that relationships involving mentees with higher narcissism were shorter in duration than […]

New study identifies a more user-friendly empathic practice: Implications for mentors

Posted by Bert Gambini Advising someone to “walk a mile in their shoes” as a way to get them to empathize with others may be bad advice for their emotional health, according to a new study. “That’s because there are two routes to empathy and one of them is more personally distressing and upsetting than […]

Want to help more children? Stop being so empathic!

By Jean Rhodes Most fund-raising events for mentoring programs follow a familiar script. After the mingling and announcements, a mentor and mentee are beckoned to the podium. The mentor describes in poignant detail the many stressors in her mentee’s life; the mentee expresses gratitude for the loving support and guidance she received. By the time the […]

Empathic teacher-student connections lead to better student behavior

By Emily Underwood, ScienceMag School suspension rates have nearly tripled in the United States since the 1970s, rising from just 3.7% of all students in 1974 to nearly 11% in 2011. That’s a big deal because missed class means missed learning, and suspensions can predict future unemployment and even incarceration. Now, a new study suggests […]

Be aware mentors: Unspoken or otherwise, kids sense their parents’ discord

Written by Cindy Lamothe, The Atlantic Summarized by Justin Preston Family conflicts are communicated in a wide variety of ways. It isn’t limited to angry shouting matches between parents. Silent, “Cold War” nonverbal tensions can be just as distressing for children as a heated argument. According to E. Mark Cummings, a professor of psychology at […]

Empathy adds “powerful, positive spark” to philanthropic giving

Editor’s Note: In a recent NYTimes opinion piece, Jamil Zaki, an assistant professor of psychology at Stanford University, argues that, although some forms of philanthropy may affect more lives than others, philanthropy based purely on rational decision making will be neither sustained nor beneficial to the donor if it doesn’t connect to the donor at an emotional level. She critiques […]