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Effectiveness of Mentoring Programs for Youth: Current Status and Future Prospects Invited Presentation for the Big Brothers Big Sisters -- Large Agency.

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Presentation on theme: "Effectiveness of Mentoring Programs for Youth: Current Status and Future Prospects Invited Presentation for the Big Brothers Big Sisters -- Large Agency."— Presentation transcript:

1 Effectiveness of Mentoring Programs for Youth: Current Status and Future Prospects Invited Presentation for the Big Brothers Big Sisters -- Large Agency Alliance 2012 Conference, San Diego, CA February 2012

2 What Did We Learn From an Earlier Meta-Analysis of Programs Evaluated Through  Mentoring programs can promote gains in emotional, behavioral, social, and academic outcomes of participating youth  Average youth experienced only “modest” or small benefits”  Effects were “enhanced significantly” when more recommended “best practices” were utilized American Journal of Community Psychology, Vol. 30, No. 2, April 2002

3 What Did We Learn from a Meta- Analysis of Last ~Decade of Studies: ? Psychological Science in the Public Interest,12, 57-91

4 Good News Mentoring programs have continued to benefit youth in many areas Programs often have positive impacts in two or more outcome domains Effects of mentoring generally in line with other youth interventions Mentoring works at both preventing declines in youth outcomes and promoting improvements Mentoring effects across program locations, models, populations, etc.  broad and flexible strategy No evidence of improved effectiveness over prior generation of programs Too few studies to evaluate impacts on several key outcomes (e.g., school drop-out, juvenile offending) Same largely true for longer-term, “follow-up” effects Stronger effects when programs: Target “at risk” youth (exception: populations high on both individual and environmental risk) Match youth and mentors based on similarity of interests Utilize mentors with educational/occupatio nal backgrounds that are a good fit with program goals Support mentors in adopting teaching and/or advocacy roles Bad News New News

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6 Promotion Prevention ? ?

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8 Where Does the Field Go From Here? 7

9 High-fidelity implementation of evidence- based practices (EBP) –For BBBS = Support for “Fidelity to Model” (i.e., SDM / Standards) Broadening of core model to more fully encompass EBP (e.g., pre-match training, more frequent support contacts post one year, more systematic monitoring of mentoring relationship quality) Use SOR/YOS for local benchmarking and tracking of progress in mentoring quality/youth impacts at national level 8

10 Bold innovation directed toward long-term, transformative impacts on young people –For BBBS = Nationally-directed pursuit of enhancements that “stretch” program models Align with research and organization’s strategic direction Pilot, refine, rigorously evaluate, and, if found to be effective, go to scale 9

11 Examples in Progress –School-Based: ESBM –Community-Based: Youth-Centered Match Support Study (Step-It-Up-2-Thrive Model) 10

12 Youth-Centered Match Support Study 11 Collaborative partnership — BBBSA National office 11 BBBSA affiliates –Thrive Foundation for Youth — Universities University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) (DuBois) Portland State University (PSU) (Keller)

13 12 Funding — OJJDP Mentoring Research Best Practices Grant — Supplemental funding to BBBSA from Thrive Foundation to support program implementation

14 13 Overarching strategy –Introduce practices based on Step-It-Up-2-Thrive model (Thrive) as more intentional approach for achieving positive youth outcomesStep-It-Up-2-Thrive –Anchored in latest findings from mentoring and positive youth development literatures –Experimentally test whether matches randomly assigned to receive “Thrive” supports have better outcomes than those receiving standard CBM Mentoring relationship (e.g., 1-year retention) Youth (e.g., reduced involvement in problem behavior)

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16 Opportunities Moving Forward 15 Researchers: Long-term follow-up studies of mentored/non-mentored youth into adulthood (e.g., PPV CBM study sample) Programs: Use internally-generated data (e.g., SOR/YOS) to identify “hot spots” of effectiveness where innovative practices may be occurring Research-Practice Partnerships: Collaborations that encompass all stages of the innovation/research process (e.g., new approaches for mentor recruitment)

17 Questions, Comments, Reflections? 16

18 Evidence-based Practice

19 Effect Size Guidelines 18


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