Dutton, H., Deane, K. L., & Overall, N. C. (2023). Using observational dyadic methods in youth mentoring research: Preliminary evidence of the role of actors’ and partners’ self-disclosure in predicting relationship quality.
In this study, behavioral observations of youth mentorships were used to assess the potential impact of self-disclosure on relationship quality, considering who is disclosing and in what manner.
The study’s findings suggest that intimate disclosures made by mentors can assist mentees in assessing their mentors’ perceptions of them and their level of commitment to the relationship. And mentors who avoid making disclosures can make their mentees think that they don’t want to have a genuine relationship with them.
Mentor disclosure should be purposeful and foster youth empowerment, mentee receptivity, and empathy. In essence, mentors should ensure that the information they share with their mentees is valuable to the relationship and does not overwhelm them.
The researcher states that ongoing training and supervision are essential in assisting mentors in attuning to their mentees and making appropriate disclosures.