Examining commitment and relational maintenance in formal youth mentoring relationships
This study by Patricia E. Gettings and Steven R. Wilson from Purdue University, USA utilizes a social exchange perspective to examine mentors’ reported commitment and relational maintenance in formal youth mentoring relationships. One hundred and forty-five adult mentors from four mentoring programs completed surveys about aspects of their current youth mentoring relationship.
Mentoring- An invisible gift Above you will find a very interesting paper “Researching the Impact of Student Mentoring in the Community” by Alethea Melling, Ridwanah Gurjee. It explores the impact of mentoring relationships on student mentors at the University of Central Lancashire in the UK and looks at student experiences, personal and professional development from mentoring over one academic year. As such the results of this study are also valuable to us.
It includes both qualitative and quantitative methods in order to draw comparisons and detailed insight into the interactions of all parties involved in the mentoring programme, including mentors, mentees and the community organization.
The findings is that mentors receive an ‘invisible gift’ that is not formally acknowledged. The ‘gift’ is manifested as key skills for lifelong learning and employability. Also, the findings highlighted that mentoring has a significant impact on the mentee regarding enhancing confidence, self esteem, skill development and engagement in pro-social behavior; thus, identifying ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ outcomes. This research also concludes that the mentoring process should utilize a ‘mentee-centered approach.’ A balance of both ‘instrumental and ‘expressive’ processes in order to support, encourage and guide mentees to achieve their full potential.
An Examination of Social Capital, Race, and Class in Mentoring Relationships by S. Michael Gaddis, Department of Sociology, University of North Carolina
This research examines data from youths and mentors in several chapters of Big Brothers/Big Sisters to assess the importance of different mentoring relationship characteristics increasing positive outcomes among youths. The literature on social capital suggests that key characteristics are: (1) the amount of time spent between individuals, (2) racial similarity,(3) level of trust, (4) social class difference, and (5) intergenerational closure. Michael Gaddis examine the effects of these social capital measures on both academic and deviant behavioral outcomes and run estimations using propensity score weighting to address selection bias. The results indicate that both the amount of time spent in a relationship and the level of trust consistently have positive effects for youths.
A new research in USA (with more than 73 independent mentoring programs): “Mentoring Effect: Young People’s Perspectives on the Outcomes and Availability of Mentoring” showssignificant positive outcomes for those who had a mentor. They were more likely to aspire to attend and to enroll in college, more likely to report participating in sports and other extracurricular activities in their communities.
The report describes a series of paths forward that would lead to a society where all young people have access to a quality mentoring relationship and the support they need to succeed in school, work and life. The recommendations include strategies to:
Utilize mentoring to address national challenges.
Ensure that young people most in need have a quality mentoring relationship.
Expand local, state and federal public policies that advance quality mentoring.
Ensure all structured mentoring is quality mentoring.
Support and increase private sector engagement in mentoring.
Facilitate connections between research and practice.
Below is a link to an article evaluating by Balu und Du by Sibylle Drexler, Brigitte Borrman and Prof. em. Dr. Hildegard Müller-‐Kohlenberg (Professor emeritus of University Osnabrück, Germany).
Dr. Müller-‐Kohlenberg is the co-founder and initiator of the successful mentoring program “Balu und Du” in Germany and the member of the leaders board, responsible for concept development, etc. She was recently a guest speaker at The Third International Nightingale Network Conference on 25th of October 2012 in Vienna. In her lecture she spoke about: “How to measure a child´s smile? How to evaluate a mentor´s key- competencies”. It was a presentation of the impacts on children and students and a field report about the cooperation with schools and parents in the programme.
The full title of the article, linked below, is “Learning life skills strengthening basic competencies and health-related quality of life od socially disadvantaged elementary school children through the mentoring program “Balu und Du” (“Baloo and you”) and is written by Sibylle Drexler, Brigitte Borrman, Hildegard Müller-Kohlenberg.