What Mentees Bring: A Quantitative and Qualitative Examination of Mentees' Pre-existing Relationship Characteristics, Mentoring Relationship Quality, and Outcomes

Author: ORCID icon orcid.org/0000-0002-7870-8389
Williamson, Supriya, Clinical Psychology - Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Deutsch, Nancy, CU-Leadshp, Fndns & Pol Studies, University of Virginia
Lyons, Michael, CU-Human Svcs, University of Virginia
Lawrence, Edith, University of Virginia
Williams, Joanna, CU-Leadshp, Fndns & Pol Studies, University of Virginia

There are many potential benefits of mentoring, but prior research has shown mixed outcomes of different mentoring programs. Central to the success of mentoring as an intervention for youth is the mentoring relationship (Rhodes, 2002). This three-paper style dissertation aims to better understand the factors that may influence the development of a strong mentoring relationship, and by extension the outcomes of mentoring for early adolescent girls who participated in the Young Women Leaders Program (YWLP). Mentees’ prior experiences in peer and parental relationships could influence how they approach a new mentoring relationship as well as how much they benefit from mentoring. The first paper establishes a connection between maternal relationship characteristics (i.e., communication/trust and alienation) and mentoring relationship quality, and reveals a difference between types of maternal relationship issues. Specifically, girls struggling with communication and trust issues in their maternal relationships tended to have lower quality mentoring relationships, while those who felt more alienated from their mothers had higher quality mentoring relationships. The second paper expands upon these results and provides specific details regarding how these two types of relationship challenges operate in regards to mentoring relationship development. Findings revealed that for girls experiencing alienation from their mothers, mentors can bridge the gap between mentees and their mothers, encouraging autonomy and connection. Mentors of girls with maternal trust and communication challenges should go slow, put mentees at ease early on, and focus on developing trust. All mentors should also focus on engaging and connecting with mentees’ families throughout the mentoring process. The third paper addresses how and through what mechanism maternal relationship characteristics impact outcomes of mentoring. Results indicate that maternal relationship characteristics impact behavioral outcomes of mentoring (i.e., bullying behavior and conflict resolution) through the mechanism of mentoring relationship quality for mentored early adolescent girls. Taken together, these papers indicate that what mentees bring into a mentoring relationship ultimately impacts what they get out of it.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Mentoring, Early Adolescent Girls , Maternal Relationships , Outcomes of mentoring , Mentoring relationship quality , Mentoring relationship development

Citation for Manuscript 1: Williamson, S., Lawrence, E., Lyons, M. D., & Deutsch, N. L. What Mentees Bring: Relationship Characteristics Pre-Mentoring and Mentoring Relationship Satisfaction. The Journal of Early Adolescence. Copyright © [2019] (SAGE publishing) DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0272431619891251

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