Fostering Natural Mentoring in Small Learning Communities

This award will support further development and testing of a survey instrument to assess differences in youth’s mentoring experiences.

While the value of mentoring for youth is well-established, less is known about how specific features of mentoring may work to advance youth outcomes. In previous work on the relationship between mentoring and youth outcomes the investigators identified four functional roles of mentors: supporter, model, connector, and compass. Hamilton will further investigate mentors’ functional roles and how these roles vary across settings. He will also examine whether there are disparities in access to mentors who perform these various functions. Two program sites with a total of 670 youth ages 9–24 and predominantly African-American and Latino will participate in the study. The analysis will look across both sites to examine how setting features (relationships, activities, resources, norms) are related to mentoring functions.

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