Child & Youth Care Forum

, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 85–105 | Cite as

Protégés’ Personality Traits, Expectations, the Quality of the Mentoring Relationship and Adjustment: A Big Five Analysis

  • Limor Goldner
Original Paper



Community-based mentoring interventions can benefit high-risk youth. However, meta-analyses suggest that these benefits may be conditioned by protégés’ personality.


Associations between protégés’ personality traits and mentoring expectations, the quality of the mentoring relationship, the perceived mentoring contribution, and levels of adjustment at the end of mentoring were explored using the Big Five model. In addition, the possible moderation of protégés’ personality traits on the relationship between the quality of the mentoring relationship and protégés’ level of adjustment at the end of the intervention and the perceived benefits of mentoring was explored.


Self-reports from protégés, parents, and teachers were used in a prospective research design. The sample consisted of 167 protégés (mean age = 9.58) from Perach, the largest community-based mentoring program in Israel.


Protégés’ agreeableness, extraversion, and openness were positively associated with their expectations. Agreeableness was positively associated with the quality of the relationship. Agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness were positively associated with protégés’ social and academic adjustment at the end of mentoring, and with the perceived contribution of mentoring, whereas neuroticism and extraversion were negatively associated. Protégés’ personality traits moderated the correlations between the quality of the relationship and their conduct self-concept, as well as the parents’ perceived mentoring contribution.


This study highlights the contribution of protégés’ personality in shaping their ability to benefit from mentoring in terms of adjustment and perceived contribution of mentoring.


Youth mentoring Psycho-social development Personality Protégés’ characteristics 



This study was partially supported by the Israeli Association for Social Science and Education: Grant No. 28 for Ph.D. students.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Creative Art Therapies, Faculty of Social Welfare and Health SciencesUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael

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