This study investigates Mentor Families, a relatively low-cost innovation to improve youth mentoring programs. Mentor Families involve the grouping of four mentor–mentee pairs into a “family” that experiences a mentoring program together. The Mentor Families provide young people with the chance to develop supportive relationships with three other caring adults and build healthy relationships with peers. The research team hypothesizes that youth who participate in intervention as part of a Mentor Family will have better mental health, behavioral, and academic outcomes than youth who participate in intervention without a Mentor Family. Participants will include 672 at-risk adolescents between the ages of 11 and 18. A mixed-methods design will provide a detailed picture of how social settings can be leveraged to enhance the benefits of mentoring.
Can we improve youth mental health, behavioral, and academic outcomes through enhanced mentoring programs?