Academy 4 Mentoring Research

Relationship Development
Relational Experiences in School Based Mentoring
  • Relational improvements that stem from involvement in mentoring programs, in turn, have been linked to improvements in self-worth, perceived scholastic competence, and academic achievement.
  •  These findings suggest that mentoring relationships may promote positive outcomes through reductions in rejection sensitivity. 
  • Reductions in rejection sensitivity play a role in explaining the association between a trusting mentoring relationship and improvements in youth’s external experiences including prosocial behavior and assertiveness
  • A trusting mentoring relationship may act as a corrective emotional or relational experience for youth, decreasing behavioral enactments of sensitivity to rejection and increasing engagement and improvements in subsequent relationship behavior.

 Pathways of Influence in School-based Mentoring 
  • Facilitates emotional regulation and to improve youths' social skills and self-perceptions
  • Guidance and support from a caring volunteer mentor is associated with improvements in the quality of the parent–child relationship
  • Suggests that the influence of mentors could help in improving teacher-student relationships. Associations between improved relationships with teachers and improved youth outcomes show that close relationships with teachers predict student motivation, academic competence and achievement, school engagement, school value, and behavioral adjustment  

Cognitive/Academic Development
  • Mentoring Helps Youth Plan for the Future
    • Researchers argue that mentors can help youth to capitalize on resources that available to them.
    • Mentors can promote self-regulatory skills in a youth specifically by providing feedback to disadvantaged youths that prompts reflection on their behaviors and goals. 
    •  Mentors are able to facilitate future planning skills in disadvantaged youth, perhaps by increasing youths’ perceived control, personal mastery, and contextual constraints.

  • The Effects of Developmental Mentoring on Connectedness and Academic Achievement 
    • Findings from this study suggest that the developmental mentoring program promoted conventional connectedness to parents, school, and the future.

Socio-Emotional Development
  • How Effective Are Mentoring Programs for Youth? A Systematic Assessment of the Evidence
    • Mentoring facilitates youth coping.
    • Mentoring can become a "corrective experience" for youth with unsatisfactory relationships.
    • Mentoring can provide mentees with a model of effective adult communication.
    • Mentoring can model caring and provide emotional support. 
  • The Role of Risk
    • The strongest benefit from mentoring shown in this study was a reduction in depressive symptoms in mentees.
    • Found that mentored youth tend to trust their parents more and communicate better with them.
  • The Study of Mentoring in the Learning Environment (SMILE): A Randomized Evaluation of the Effectiveness of School-based Mentoring
    • Among elementary school boys, those in the mentoring condition reported higher social skills (empathy and cooperation), hopefulness, and connectedness both to school and to culturally different peers.

Identity Development
  • How Effective Are Mentoring Programs for Youth? A Systematic Assessment of the Evidence
    • Mentors may help shift youths’ conceptions of both their current and future identities. These “possible selves” can inform current decisions and behavior.
    • Relationships with mentors may open doors to activities, resources, and educational or occupational opportunities on which youth can draw to construct their sense of identity.
    • Share results that link mentoring to a more positive orientation to the future and higher educational aspirations.
  • The Mentoring Effect
    • Young Adults Who Were At-Risk but Had a Mentor Are: 55% more likely to enroll in college, 78% more likely to volunteer regularly, 90% are interested in becoming a mentor, 130% more likely to hold leadership positions.


Health Benefits
  • Giving Back Helps Others – And You
    • Decrease your risk of depression
    • Enjoy a sense of purpose and fulfillment
    • Stay physically and mentally active
    • Reduce stress levels
    • Experience “the happiness effect”- dopamine
    • Find community
  • 8 Long Term Health Benefits of Volunteering
    • Boosts self-esteem
    • Expands your connections
    • Makes you feel good
    • Contributes to a longer life
    • Gives purpose
    • Combats stress
    • Gives a good example
    • Teaches new skills
  • The Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research
  • Volunteering May Be Good for Body and Mind
    • Volunteer work could increase physical activity and mental stimulation. Summarizes evidence from research study to back up these claims.
  • New research Shows That Volunteering Can Help Keep Older Adults’ Minds Sharp
    • Research on adults aged 51 and older show significant associations between cognitive function and volunteering among all participants, regardless of the amount of time spent.

Community Engagement
  • New research: Acting as a Mentor Associated with Civic Engagement Years Later
    • These findings show connecting with another person via mentoring can play a part in fostering civically engaged and active citizens.
  • Three Ways Mentoring Can Help Disrupt the Growing Racial Wealth Divide (Exposure Effect from Mentoring)
    • Exposure effect – brings you into contact with people from different generations and backgrounds as you. Allowing you as a mentor to develop appreciation and understanding – ultimately helping develop empathy

Why developmental Relationships Matter
  1. Young people who experience strong developmental relationships are more likely to report a wide range of social-emotional strengths and other indicators of well-being and thriving.
  2. Young people with strong relationships are more resilient in the face of stress and trauma.
  3. Young people do better when they experience a strong web of relationships with many people.

What keeps a Mentor ENGAGED?
(PSA: this is looked at from a female perspective, but it could still be useful information)
Regarding the research question, “What are female volunteers’ motives for becoming engaged as mentors?”, the researchers found six themes that emerged from the data:
  • Self-interested Reasons
  • Empowering women
  • Being a responsible citizen
  • A sense of compassion
  • Self-awareness
  • Longing for meaningfulness

Regarding the second research question, “What makes the female volunteers stay in the organization and continue their engagement?”, the researchers found five themes that emerged from the data.

  • A win-win relationship
  • A feeling of ambivalence despite clear responsibilities and contributions
  • A caring organizational identity
  • Customized support and guidance
  • A commitment to pursue with feelings of duty and emotional connection

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