Mentoring and Its Role in Promoting Academic and Social Competency

  • Preston A. Britner
  • Lisa Kraimer-Rickaby
Part of the Issues in Children’s and Families’ Lives book series (IICL, volume 10)

Youth development programs increasingly are moving away from deficit-based models of intervention and focusing more on strength-based prevention models, such as mentoring, to foster healthy developmental outcomes for youth. Mentoring, defined briefly as a relationship in which the older person provides guidance to the younger person to facilitate socially appropriate goals, has recently experienced a surge of interest. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has recently awarded millions of dollars to fund mentoring programs for children of incarcerated parents. The U.S. Department of Education has supported school-based mentoring in poor school districts. Researchers are beginning to ask more involved questions about the systemic, bidirectional influences of mentoring and families and to apply the appropriate research methods to the study of mentoring. Unfortunately, to date, there has been more of a focus in the field on building up the quantity of mentor–protégé “matches”...


Youth Development Mentor Program Positive Youth Development Program Staff Adolescent Mother 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Aseltine, R. H., Dupre, M., & Lamlein, P. (2000). Mentoring as a drug prevention strategy: An evaluation of Across Ages. Adolescent and Family Health, 1, 11–20.Google Scholar
  2. Barton, W. H., Watkins, M., & Jarjoura, R. (1997). Youths and communities: Toward comprehensive strategies for youth development. Social Work, 42, 483–494.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Beam, M. R., Chen, C., & Greenberger, E. (2002). The nature of the relationships between adolescents and their “very important” nonparental adults. American Journal of Community Psychology, 30, 305–325.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Blechman, E. A., Maurice, A., Buecker, B., & Helberg, C. (2000). Can mentoring or skill training reduce recidivism? Observational study with propensity analysis. Prevention Science, 1, 139–155.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bloom, M. (2000). The uses of theory in primary prevention practice: Evolving thoughts on sports and after-school activities as influences of social competency. In S. J. Danish & T. P. Gullotta (Eds.), Developing competent youth and strong communities through after-school programming (pp. 17–66). Washington, DC: CWLA Press.Google Scholar
  6. Bogenschneider, K. (1996). An ecological risk/protective theory for building prevention programs, policies, and community capacity to support youth. Family Relations, 45, 127–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bonny, A. E., Britto, M. T., Klostermann, B. K., Hornung, R. W., & Slap, G. V. (2000). School connectedness: Identifying adolescents at risk. Pediatrics, 106, 1017–1021.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Britner, P. A., Balcazar, F. E., Blechman, E. A., Blinn-Pike, L., & Larose, S. (2006). Mentoring special youth populations. Special issue: Youth mentoring – Bridging science with practice. Journal of Community Psychology, 34, 747–763.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Britner, P. A., & Kraimer-Rickaby, L. (2005). Abused and neglected youth. In D. L. DuBois & M. J. Karcher (Eds.), Handbook of youth mentoring (pp. 482–492). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cavell, T. A., & Smith, A-M. (2005). Mentoring children. In D. L. DuBois & M. J. Karcher (Eds.), Handbook of youth mentoring (pp. 160–176). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Clary, E. G., & Rhodes, J. E. (Eds.) (2006). Mobilizing adults for positive youth development: Strategies for closing the gap between beliefs and behaviors. New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. DuBois, D. L. (2003). Self-esteem, childhood. In T. P. Gullotta & M. Bloom (Eds.), Encyclopedia of primary prevention and health promotion (pp. 945–953). New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. DuBois, D. L., Holloway, B. E., Valentine, J. C., & Cooper, H. (2002). Effectiveness of mentoring programs for youth: A meta-analytic review. American Journal of Community Psychology, 30, 157–192.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. DuBois, D. L., & Karcher, M. J. (2005). Youth mentoring: Theory, research, and practice. In D. L. DuBois & M. J. Karcher (Eds.), Handbook of youth mentoring (pp. 2–11). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. DuBois, D. L., & Silverthorn, N. (2005). Natural mentoring relationships and adolescent adjustment: Evidence from a national study. The Journal of Primary Prevention, 26, 69–92.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Elias, M. J., Gara, M. A., Schuyler, T. F., Branden-Muller, L. R., & Sayette, M. A. (1991). The promotion of social competence: Longitudinal study of a preventive school-based program. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 61, 409–417.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Elias, M. J., & Gordon, J. S. (2008). Promoting social and emotional development in childhood and early adolescence. In T. P. Gullotta & M. Bloom (Eds.), A blueprint for promoting academic and social competence in after school programs. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  18. Ferronato, S. (2002). Building blocks of quality mentoring programs. Burlington, ON, Canada: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada.Google Scholar
  19. Folan, T. K., & Britner , P. A. (2007). School-based mentoring: Perspectives of mentees, mentors, and program coordinators. Manuscript submitted for publication.Google Scholar
  20. Grossman, J. B., & Rhodes, J. E. (2002). The test of time: Predictors and effects of duration in youth mentoring relationships. American Journal of Community Psychology, 30, 199–219.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Grossman, J. B., & Tierney, J. P. (1998). Does mentoring work? An impact study of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Evaluation Review, 22, 403–426.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Guay, F., Larose, S., & Boivin, M. (2004). Academic self-concept and educational attainment level: A ten-year longitudinal study. Self and Identity, 3, 53–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Herrera, C. (2004). School-based mentoring: A closer look. Philadelphia, PA: Public/Private Ventures.Google Scholar
  24. Herrera, C., Sipe, C. L., & McClanahan, W. S., with Arbreton, A. J. A., & Pepper, S. K. (2000). Mentoring school-age children: Relationship development in community-based and school-based programs. Philadelphia, PA: Public/Private Ventures.Google Scholar
  25. Hirsch, B. J. (2005). A place to call home: After-school programs for urban youth. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hirsch, B. J., Mickus, M., & Boerger, R. (2002). Ties to influential adults among Black and White adolescents: Culture, social class, and family networks. American Journal of Community Psychology, 30, 289–303.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hirsch, B. J., & Wong, V. (2005). After-school programs. In D. L. DuBois & M. J. Karcher (Eds.), Handbook of youth mentoring (pp. 364–375). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Jekielek, S., Moore, K. A., & Hair, E. C. (2002). Mentoring programs and youth development: A synthesis. Washington, DC: Child Trends.Google Scholar
  29. Kahne, J., Nagaoka, J., Brown, A., O’Brien, J., Quinn, T., & Thiede, K. (2001). Assessing after-school programs as contexts for youth development. Youth & Society, 32, 421–446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Karcher, M. J., Davis, C., & Powell, B. (2002). Developmental mentoring in the schools: Testing connectedness as a mediating variable in the promotion of academic achievement. The School Community Journal, 12, 36–52.Google Scholar
  31. Karcher, M. J., Nakkula, M. J., & Harris, J. (2005). Developmental match characteristics: Correspondence between mentors and mentees’ assessments of relationship quality. The Journal of Primary Prevention, 26, 93–110.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Keller, T. E. (2005). A systemic model of the youth mentoring intervention. The Journal of Primary Prevention, 26, 169–188.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Klaw, E. L., Rhodes, J. E., & Fitzgerald, L. F. (2002). Natural mentors in the lives of African American adolescent mothers: Tracking relationships over time. Journal of Youth & Adolescence, 32, 223–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kuperminc, G. P., Emshoff, J. G., Reiner, M. M., Secrest, L. A., Holditch Niolon, P., & Foster, J. D. (2005). Integration of mentoring with other programs and services. In D. L. DuBois & M. J. Karcher (Eds.), Handbook of youth mentoring (pp. 314–333). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Larose, S., & Tarabulsy, G. M. (2005). Academically at-risk students. In D. L. DuBois & M. J. Karcher (Eds.), Handbook of youth mentoring (pp. 440–453). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  36. LoSciuto, L., Rajala, A. K., Townsend, T. N., & Taylor, A. S. (1996). An outcome evaluation of Across Ages: An intergenerational mentoring approach to drug prevention. Journal of Adolescent Research, 11, 116–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Mahoney, J. L., Lord, H., & Carryl, E. (2005). An ecological analysis of after-school program participation and the development of academic performance and motivational attributes for disadvantaged children. Child Development, 76, 811–825.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. McPartland, J. M., & Nettles, S. M. (1991). Using community adults as advocates or mentors for at-risk middle school students: A two-year evaluation of Project RAISE. American Journal of Education, 99, 568–586.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. National Mentoring Partnership (2003). Elements of effective practice (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: Author.Google Scholar
  40. Parra, G. R., DuBois, D. L., Neville, H. A., Pugh-Lilly, A. O., & Povinelli, N. (2002). Mentoring relationships for youth: Investigation of a process-oriented model. Journal of Community Psychology, 30, 367–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Portwood, S. G., & Ayers, P. M. (2005). Schools. In D. L. DuBois & M. J. Karcher (Eds.), Handbook of youth mentoring (pp. 336–347). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  42. Petitpas, A. J., Van Raalte, J. L., Cornelius, A. E., & Presbey, J. (2004). A life skills development program for high school student-athletes. The Journal of Primary Prevention, 24, 325–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Rhodes, J. E. (2002). Stand by me: The risks and rewards of mentoring today’s youth. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Rhodes, J. E., Grossman, J. B., & Resch, N. L. (2000). Agents of change: Pathways through which mentoring relationships influence adolescents’ academic adjustment. Child Development, 71, 1662–1671.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Roth, J., Brooks-Gunn, J., Murray, L., & Foster, W. (1998). Promoting healthy adolescents: Synthesis of youth development program evaluations. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 8, 423–459.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Seligson, M., & MacPhee, M. (2004). Emotional intelligence and staff training in after-school environments. New Directions for Youth Development, 103, 71–83.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Sipe, C. (1996). Mentoring: A synthesis of PP/PV’s research: 1988–1995. Philadelphia, PA: Public/Private Ventures.Google Scholar
  48. Slicker, E. K., & Palmer, D. J. (1993). Mentoring at-risk high school students: Evaluation of a school-based program. School Counselor, 40, 327–334.Google Scholar
  49. Srebnik, D. S., & Elias, M. J. (1993). An ecological, interpersonal skills approach to drop-out prevention. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 63, 526–535.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Thompson, L. A., & Kelly-Vance, L. (2001). The impact of mentoring on academic achievement of at-risk youth. Children and Youth Services Review, 23, 7–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Tierney, J. P., Grossman, J. B., & Resch, N. L. (1995). Making a difference: An impact study of Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Philadelphia, PA: Public/Private Ventures.Google Scholar
  52. Valentine, J. C., DuBois, D. L., & Cooper, H. (2004). The relation between self-beliefs and academic achievement: A meta-analytic review. Educational Psychologist, 39(2), 111–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Welsh, B. C., & Farrington, D. P. (2003). Delinquency, adolescence. In T. P. Gullotta & M. Bloom (Eds.), Encyclopedia of primary prevention and health promotion (pp. 390–395). New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Westhues, A., Clarke, L., Watton, J., & St. Claire-Smith, S. (2001). Building positive relationships: An evaluation of process and outcomes in a Big Sister program. The Journal of Primary Prevention, 21, 477–493.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Zimmerman, M. A., Bingenheimer, J. B., & Notaro, P. C. (2002). Natural mentors and adolescent resiliency: A study with urban youth. American Journal of Community Psychology, 30, 221–243.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Human Development & Family StudiesUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA

Personalised recommendations