The Effects of Youth's Stress on the Mentoring Relationship in a Cross-National Sample of Randomized Mentor-Youth Pairs
Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) put youth at disproportionate risk of internalizing and externalizing issues. Mentor programs have been identified as low-cost interventions for youth that can help offset the risk of these experiences. Mentored youth have higher self-esteem, academic achievement and engage in less risky behaviors and misconduct. Meta-analysis revealed a small effect on youth outcomes in these programs, however. The impact of youth stress on the mentoring relationship has been examined as a possible explanation for why these programs are not as effective as we have hoped. Research has had mixed results, with some reporting better youth outcomes with more stress and worse outcomes with more stress. Mentor programs typically match youth to mentors based on mentor and mentee characteristics. This process introduces factors that research cannot control for when examining youth benefits from mentoring. Therefore, the current study utilizes a diverse group of youth from the United States and Mexico (n = 1,306) with a rigorous, randomized research design to examine the effects of youth stress on relationship outcomes. Results revealed no significant impact of adverse experiences on youth and mentor's perception of the relationship quality overall. However, mentors reported significantly higher rates of anxiety within the relationship for youth with more negative experiences. These findings have important implications for approaches to the mentor-mentee matching process and future randomized study design.
Clinical psychology|Developmental psychology|Social psychology|Educational leadership
Cosby, Jasmine, "The Effects of Youth's Stress on the Mentoring Relationship in a Cross-National Sample of Randomized Mentor-Youth Pairs" (2022). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI29169148.