Posts

The mentoring paradox, and how to solve it

by Jean Rhodes In a forthcoming book, “Older and wiser: Rethinking youth mentoring for the 21st Century,” (Harvard University Press), I explore why the field of mentoring has remained somewhat decoupled from the more rigorous guidelines of prevention science, and has been granted considerable immunity from the consequences of disappointing findings over the years. Although […]

Today’s special: Friendship, with a side of purpose and direction

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 helping relationships. For nearly a century, most volunteer mentors were tasked simply with building friendships […]

Study Finds Positive Physical and Mental Health Outcomes for Mentored Foster Care Youth

Ahrens, K. R., DuBois, D. L., Richardson, L. P., Fan, M. Y., & Lozano, P. (2008). Youth in foster care with adult mentors during adolescence have improved adult outcomes. Pediatrics, 121(2), e246-e252. Summarized by Elyssa Weber, UMB clinical psychology doctoral student Introduction: Young adults in foster care are more likely to have poorer physical and […]

Homeless Youth and their Natural Mentors

Dang, M.T., & Miller, E. (2016). Characteristics of natural mentoring relationships from the perspective of homeless youth. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, Advance online publication. DOI: 10.1111/jcap.12038 Introduction: Relative to their peers, homeless youth face greater challenges including higher rates of mental illness, substance abuse, risky sexual behavior, and victimization.  Given the negative outcomes […]

Presence of natural mentors and vigilant parents leads to more positive outcomes for Black youth

Hurd, N., Varner, F., & Rowley, S. (2013). Involved-vigilant parenting and socio-emotional well-being among Black youth: The moderating influence of natural mentoring relationships. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 42(10), 1583-1595. Doi: 10.1007/s10964-012-9819-y Summarized by Jessica Cunningham Background: Previous research on Black youth has often operated on a deficits or challenges based approach, which has the […]

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 mentoring in the United States. This report advances our understanding in several important ways. First, […]

New research shows the important role of natural mentors for delinquency in youth

Editor’s Note: This recent longitudinal study provides interesting insights into the specific relationship between mentoring and juvenile delinquency. Not only does this article show the positive effects mentoring relationships seem to have on delinquency, the authors also discuss certain characteristics of the mentoring relationship seem to matter the most.   Reference: Kelley, M. S., & Lee, […]

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 can not be randomly assigned, it is actually a bit difficult to untangle their causes from […]

New research investigates parents’ influence on success of mentoring relationship in academics

Editor’s Note: The present study helps to further support the idea of the important role that parents play in the success of a formal mentoring relationship with regards to academic outcomes. As such, mentoring programs could potentially further boost their positive outcomes by connecting with and collaborating with parents during the mentoring process. Larose, S., […]

New research highlights differential effects of natural mentors on youth eating disorders

Editor’s Note: This study highlights the importance of both recognizing the benefits of a mentoring relationship for youth who are experiencing difficulties with their body self-image as well as the limits of a supportive mentoring relationship in youth diagnosed with eating disorders. By finding this balance between benefit and limits, programs can help support youth […]