How a Formal Mentoring Program Affects Mentors' Attitudes Toward Racial/Ethnic Groups and Socioeconomic Inequality
Youth mentoring programs provide a low-cost and easily scalable approach to promoting resilience and preventing a wide range of negative outcomes among youth, including delinquency and poor school performance. However, the majority of volunteer mentors in formalized youth mentoring programs are high-income, White females, while the majority of youth referred to mentoring programs are low-income, Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) males. Thus, privileged, White mentors are frequently tasked with mentoring lower-income, BIPOC youth; however, research has not examined the extent to which these volunteer mentors may hold problematic beliefs about the race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status (SES) of their mentees, and whether these beliefs change due to participating in mentoring programs. The current study aims to address these gaps in the literature by examining mentors’ attitudes about different racial/ethnic groups and socioeconomic inequality and the effect of these attitudes on mentoring outcomes in a sample of mentor-youth dyads enrolled in a formal mentoring program (N = 684). Results suggest that mentors providing mentoring interventions may hold problematic attitudes about racial/ethnic and socioeconomic groups different from their own at program entry, but that these biases appear to shift over time. Mentoring programs may want to assess and directly address the attitudes of their mentors in order to augment the impact of youth mentoring programs across a wide range of youth outcomes.
Clinical psychology|Ethnic studies
Simpson, Savannah B, "How a Formal Mentoring Program Affects Mentors' Attitudes Toward Racial/Ethnic Groups and Socioeconomic Inequality" (2021). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI28417025.