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Sharon D. Johnson Associate Professor School of Social Work University of Missouri-St. Louis 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Sharon D. Johnson Associate Professor School of Social Work University of Missouri-St. Louis 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sharon D. Johnson Associate Professor School of Social Work University of Missouri-St. Louis 1

2 Mentoring as a prevention and intervention strategy for at-risk youth is becoming increasingly popular. More specifically, it is gaining momentum in the field of juvenile delinquency. Recent years have seen a spotlight on the positive outcomes of mentoring for at-risk youth. 2

3 The Functionality of Mentoring Limitations of Mentoring Is Mentoring Appropriate for All Youth? Implications 3

4 Responsible mentoring: Is a structured, one-to-one relationship or partnership that focuses on the needs of mentored participants. Fosters caring and supportive relationships. Encourages individuals to develop to their fullest potential. Helps an individual to develop his or her own vision for the future. Rhodes, J.E. (2002). 4

5 Responsible mentoring Can take many forms and take place in an array of settings: Rhodes, J.E. (2002). traditional mentoring group mentoring team mentoring peer mentoring e-mentoring “…a mentor makes an individualized, personalized effort to assist someone in achieving their goals, reaching their objectives, and/or becoming successful” (Landefield, 2010, p.11). 5

6 Interpersonal history, social competencies, relationship duration, developmental stage, family and community context moderators Positive Outcomes e.g., reduced health risk, better psych. outcomes Cognitive development Identity development Social-emotional development Parental/peer relationships mediator Mutuality Trust Empathy Pathways of mentor influence Rhodes, J. E. (2005) 6

7 Functionality of Mentoring Mentoring helps build and strengthen protective factors in youth (La Vigne, et al, 2008). Mentoring has been shown to affect multiple domains at one time including family bonding, relationships with adults, school bonding and life skills (Thompson & Zand, 2010; Bazron et al., 2006; King et al., 2002). 7

8 Functionality of Mentoring An evaluation of mentoring programs found that youth experienced positive returns in academics, social attitudes and relationships, substance abuse prevention, and reductions in some negative behaviors (Jekielek et al., 2002). Mentoring also reduces risk Weapon carrying, illicit drug use, smoking behaviors, frequency of sex partners (Bier et al, 2003) 8

9 Functionality of Mentoring The higher functioning the mentor program and mentoring relationship, is the greater the gains seen by youth (Goldner & Mayseless, 2009; Rhodes, 2008; Thompson & Zand, 2010). 9

10 Limitations of Mentoring Lack of continuity in the mentoring relationship One study indicated that only 64% of youth were still meeting with their original mentor at 1 st follow-up (Schwartz et al, 2010). Youth experienced drops in self-worth and perceived scholastic competence when in relationships that terminated within 3 months (Grossman & Rhodes, 2002). Termination more likely among older adolescents, youth with emotional, sexual or physical abuse (Grossman & Rhodes, 2002). 10

11 Limitations of Mentoring E-mentoring Highly regarded by youth and youth centered, but few “deep” connections between youth and mentor (Rhodes et al, 2006). Mentoring can shield depression but can’t resolve depression if already present (Bauldrey, 2006). Mentoring can slow onset of negative behaviors but can’t prevent the occurrence of these behaviors (Grossman & Rhodes, 2002). 11

12 Limitations of Mentoring Mentoring of Special Populations Have you mentored a youth in a unique situation and are you willing to….? Mentoring in America, Survey of 1,000 US citizens in 2005- 12

13 0-2 Trust and attachment Quality and impact of mentoring relationships is based on the closeness of the bond between mentor and mentee. For mentees with trust and attachment challenges, developing that bond may be difficult. 2-6 Separation anxiety Mentees with separation anxiety may have difficulty establishing appropriate boundaries in relationships. This could manifest itself as being overly needy/attached or, conversely, by remaining detached and distant to prevent future disappointment. Age & Possible Developmental Impact Implications for Mentoring Relationships 7-10 Poor self-concept, developmental regressions Mentees with low self-esteem may not believe they are worthy of “good” things, including their mentors. This belief may cause them to act out or hold back emotionally. It may also result in behavior that is not age appropriate. Bilchik, S. (2007). Mentoring: A Promising Intervention for Children of Prisoners. Research in Action Series (10). http://www.mentoring.org/downloads/mentoring_391.pdf 13

14 Age & Possible Developmental Impact Implications for Mentoring Relationships 11-14 Rejections of limits on behavior Mentees may have difficulty working w/others and controlling emotions which can make forming a close relationship difficult. 15-18 Premature termination of dependency relationship Mentees may have difficulty trusting and engaging in relationships with adults which could lead to rejection of the mentor or behavior that challenges the mentor’s role to provide guidance and support. Bilchik, S. (2007). Mentoring: A Promising Intervention for Children of Prisoners. Research in Action Series (10). http://www.mentoring.org/downloads/mentoring_391.pdf 14

15 Is Mentoring For Everyone? Pre-mentoring relationship quality impacts external reports of externalizing problems. (Schwartz et al 2010) Average Greatest benefit Low Modest benefit HighLeast benefit 15

16 Confusing Results Youth at varying levels of risk benefit at varying levels from mentoring. Youth who were most at-risk see the most gains from mentoring (Jekielek et al., (2002). BUT…… Varying relationships by subgroups (Dubois et al, 2006) Stronger effects for youth with environmental risk Fewer/adverse effects for youth with substantial personal problems 16

17 Confusing Results Role of Natural Mentors: Grandparents, adult relatives, cousins, older friends, coaches, pastors, teachers ( Zimmerman et al 2002; Kogan et al, 2011; Hurd & Zimmerman, 2010) Instrumental and emotional support and affectively positive interaction Less anger, less rule-breaking behavior, less aggression, nonviolent delinquent behavior Sustained relationship overtime predicts: Less depressive symptoms Less sexual risk behavior But……. Other research indicates that the relationship between youth and non-familial mentors has more positive outcomes in education and physical health (Dubois & Silverthorn, 2005). 17

18 So Where Does This Leave Us? Mentoring can be effective for some youth. It is not a “catch-all” approach for at-risk behavior reduction. Mentoring needs to be structured: Youth evaluation for need/potential benefits Carefully selected and trained adults* Long-term commitments* Ongoing monitoring and support of relationships* Utilization of natural mentors when available *Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring, 3 rd Edition 18

19 References Bauldrey, S. (2006). Positive support: Mentoring and depression among high-risk youth. www.ppv.org/ppv/publications/assets/202_publications.pdf Beier, S.R.; Rosenfeld, W.D.; Spitalny, K.C.; Zansky, S.M.; Bontempo, A.N. (2000). The Potential Role of an Adult Mentor in Influencing High-Risk Behaviors in Adolescents; Arch Pediatric Adolesc Med, 154. Bilchik, S. (2007). Mentoring: A Promising Intervention for Children of Prisoners. Research in Action Series (10). http://www.mentoring.org/downloads/mentoring_391.pdf Cavell, TA, Elledge, C, Malco, KT, Faith, MA, Hughes, JN (2009). Relationship quality and the mentoring of aggressive, high-risk children. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 38, 185-198. Dubois, DL, Doolittle, f., Yates, B. T., Silverhorn, N. & Tebes, JK (2006). Research methodology and youth mentoring. Journal of Community Psychology, 34, 657-676. DuBois, DL & Silverthorn, N (2005). Characteristics of Natural Mentoring Relationships and Adolescent Adjustment: Evidence from a National Study. Journal of Primary Prevention, 26(2), 69-92. 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(2), 199-219. 19

20 References, con’t. Hurd, N & Zimmerman, M. (2010). Natural mentors, mental health, and risk behaviors: A longitudinal analysis of African American adolescents transitioning into adulthood. Am J Community Psych, 46,36-48. Landefield, T (2010). Mentors and Mentoring. In Bell, J.E. (ed) Mentoring and Diversity. New York: Springer. Kogan, SM, Brody, GH & Chen, Y (2011). Natural mentoring processes deter externalizing problems among rural African American emerging adults: A prospective analysis. Am J Community Psych, DOI 10.1007/s10464-011-9425-2. Mentor (2006). Mentoring in America 2005: A Snapshot of the Current State of Mentoring. www.mentroing.org Rhodes, J.E. (2002). Stand by me: The risks and rewards of mentoring today’s youth. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Rhodes, J. E. (2005). “A theoretical model of youth mentoring.” In D. L. DuBois & M. J. Karcher (Eds.) Handbook of youth mentoring. (pp. 30-43).Thousand Oakes, CA: Sage Press Rhodes, JE, Spencer, R, Saito, RN & Sipe, CL (2006). Online mentoring: Th e promise and challenges of an emerging apporach to youth development. J of Primary Prevention, 27(5), 497-513. Schwartz, SE, Rhodes, JE, Chan, CS & Herrera, C. (2011). The impact of school-based mentoring on youths with different relational profiles. Developmental Psychology, 47, 450-462. 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. http://www.nationalmentoringmonth.org/video/#reelpeople 20


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