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A Typology of School-based Mentoring Relationship Quality: Implications for Recruiting and Retaining Volunteer Mentors

NCJ Number
Children and Youth Services Review Volume: 90 Dated: July 2018 Pages: 149-157
Barbara J. McMorris; Jennifer L. Doty; Lindsey M. Weiler; Kara J. Beckman; Diego Garcia-Huidobro
Date Published
July 2018
9 pages
This study used data from a school-based sample of both mentors and mentees enrolled in Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities in identifying multidimensional profiles of mentoring relationships, factors associated with profiles, and associations between profiles and program-related mentor outcomes.
A critical component of successful mentoring programs is the quality of relationships. In school-based settings, relationship quality measures tend to rely on single, unidimensional indicators reported by one informant. Guided by Positive Youth Development concepts, the current study used a latent profile analysis in identifying three profiles based on multi-informant ratings of closeness, communication, engagement, and compatibility: Tough Matches, Tentative Mentors, and Tight Matches. Profile membership was associated with mentors' attitudes toward youth, match expectations, training received, and perceived program support. Profiles were also distinguished by match length and mentor commitment. Tentative mentors and those in tough matches could benefit from targeted practices to increase mentor capacity to connect and engage with mentees. (publisher abstract modified)