Research in Action Series Why Youth Mentoring Relationships End
Overview of Research in Action Series <ul><li>MENTOR has developed an innovative series - Research in Action  </li></ul><u...
<ul><li>10 issues  </li></ul><ul><li>Each issue provides:   </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Acti...
Research in Action Issues: <ul><li>Mentoring: A Key Resource for Promoting Positive Youth Development </li></ul><ul><li>Ef...
Mentor Michigan Webinar Series <ul><li>www.mentormichigan.org </li></ul><ul><li>Click on “Training & Technical Assistance”...
Issue 5: Why Youth Mentoring Relationships End <ul><li>Renée Spencer, Ed.D., LICSW, Boston University </li></ul><ul><li>Is...
Issue 5 - Overview <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Youth and Mentor Characteristics </li></ul><ul><li>Relationship ...
Introduction <ul><li>What happens when mentoring relationships do not go well? </li></ul>
POLL Is match retention an issue in your program? <ul><li>Yes, it is a critical issue </li></ul><ul><li>No </li></ul><ul><...
Relationship Failure <ul><li>Only approximately half of formal mentoring relationships last beyond a few months </li></ul>...
Negative Experiences <ul><li>Fundamental component of all interpersonal relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Negative experienc...
Current Research <ul><li>Youth and Mentor Characteristics </li></ul><ul><li>Relationship Processes </li></ul><ul><li>Progr...
Youth and Mentor Characteristics <ul><li>Youth </li></ul><ul><li>Age at time of match </li></ul><ul><li>Risk status </li><...
Relationship Processes <ul><li>Duration  – matches lasting for at least one year </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Calendar or academi...
Other Process Factors <ul><li>Consistency of contact </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Matches meet several times each month, for a mi...
Program Factors <ul><li>Pre-match training and orientation </li></ul><ul><li>Ongoing training </li></ul><ul><li>Staff cont...
POLL How much training do you offer your mentors? <ul><li>Less than one hour </li></ul><ul><li>1-2 hours </li></ul><ul><li...
Importance of Training <ul><li>Mentors receiving  fewer than two hours  of training reported the lowest levels of closenes...
Themes - Early Ending Matches <ul><li>Abandonment  </li></ul><ul><li>Perceived lack of mentee motivation </li></ul><ul><li...
Abandonment and Lack of Interest <ul><li>Mentors and youth abandoned by their partners </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stopped retur...
Unfulfilled Expectations <ul><li>Mentor’s expectations of what they hoped it would be like </li></ul><ul><li>Mentors under...
Deficiencies in Mentors’ Relational Skills <ul><li>Not focused on the youth </li></ul><ul><li>Unrealistic expectations of ...
Family Interference and Lack of Agency Support <ul><li>Unsupportive family members </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interfering with ...
Preventing Relationship Failures <ul><li>Some endings are unavoidable </li></ul><ul><li>However, many relationships end du...
Preventing Relationship Failures <ul><li>Higher levels of program support </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Particularly when matching...
Clear Expectations  for the Relationship <ul><li>Strategy to prevent matches from ending early when these expectations are...
Discuss Closure <ul><li>Discuss options for ending a relationship during initial orientation and training </li></ul><ul><u...
Addressing Cross-Cultural Differences <ul><li>Cultural training for participants </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Effectively engagin...
Match Support <ul><li>Monitoring of matches </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Regular contact with matches of a periodic basis </li></...
Conclusion <ul><li>Once the match between a mentor and a young person is made, the work has only just begun </li></ul><ul>...
ACTION Section <ul><li>Typical match descriptions or “relationship prototypes” </li></ul><ul><li>Used in a variety of ways...
Prototype Descriptions <ul><li>Mentee Temperament </li></ul><ul><li>Mentee Motivation/Engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Mentee ...
Example Prototype
MENTOR <ul><li>The leader in expanding the power of mentoring to millions of young Americans who want and need adult mento...
<ul><li>National organization that provides training and technical assistance to youth mentoring programs.  </li></ul><ul>...
Questions or Comments?
<ul><li>This presentation provides an overview of Research in Action Issue 5:  Why Youth Mentoring Relationships End </li>...
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Research In Action #5

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Issue #5: Why Youth Mentoring Relationships End

The Research In Action series was developed by MENTOR and translates the latest mentoring research into tangible strategies for mentoring practitioners. Research In Action (RIA) makes the best available research accessible and relevant to the mentoring field.

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Research In Action #5

  1. 1. Research in Action Series Why Youth Mentoring Relationships End
  2. 2. Overview of Research in Action Series <ul><li>MENTOR has developed an innovative series - Research in Action </li></ul><ul><li>Translates the latest research on mentoring into tangible strategies for mentoring practitioners. </li></ul><ul><li>Makes the best available research accessible and relevant to the mentoring field.   </li></ul><ul><li>Using the Research in Action series, programs can ensure their practices are based on current research, resulting in improved services and better impacts for young people. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>10 issues </li></ul><ul><li>Each issue provides:   </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resources </li></ul></ul>Overview of Research in Action Series
  4. 4. Research in Action Issues: <ul><li>Mentoring: A Key Resource for Promoting Positive Youth Development </li></ul><ul><li>Effectiveness of Mentoring Program Practices </li></ul><ul><li>Program Staff in Youth Mentoring Programs: Qualifications, Training, and Retention </li></ul><ul><li>Fostering Close and Effective Relationships in Youth Mentoring Programs </li></ul><ul><li>Why Youth Mentoring Relationships End </li></ul><ul><li>School-Based Mentoring </li></ul><ul><li>Cross-Age Peer Mentoring </li></ul><ul><li>Mentoring Across Generations: Engaging 50+ Adults as Mentors </li></ul><ul><li>Youth Mentoring: Do Race and Ethnicity Really Matter? </li></ul><ul><li>Mentoring: A Promising Intervention for Children of Prisoners </li></ul>
  5. 5. Mentor Michigan Webinar Series <ul><li>www.mentormichigan.org </li></ul><ul><li>Click on “Training & Technical Assistance” </li></ul>
  6. 6. Issue 5: Why Youth Mentoring Relationships End <ul><li>Renée Spencer, Ed.D., LICSW, Boston University </li></ul><ul><li>Issue available for free download at MENTOR’s website </li></ul><ul><ul><li>www.mentoring.org </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Access Research” Tab  Research in Action </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Issue 5 - Overview <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Youth and Mentor Characteristics </li></ul><ul><li>Relationship Processes </li></ul><ul><li>Program Factors </li></ul><ul><li>Themes: Early Ending Matches </li></ul><ul><li>Preventing Relationship Failure </li></ul><ul><li>ACTION </li></ul><ul><li>Resources </li></ul>
  8. 8. Introduction <ul><li>What happens when mentoring relationships do not go well? </li></ul>
  9. 9. POLL Is match retention an issue in your program? <ul><li>Yes, it is a critical issue </li></ul><ul><li>No </li></ul><ul><li>Not sure </li></ul>
  10. 10. Relationship Failure <ul><li>Only approximately half of formal mentoring relationships last beyond a few months </li></ul><ul><li>Rate is even worse among more vulnerable youth </li></ul><ul><li>When relationships end within the first three months they have potential to do harm </li></ul>
  11. 11. Negative Experiences <ul><li>Fundamental component of all interpersonal relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Negative experiences more significant for participants in mentoring relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges of formal mentoring matches </li></ul>
  12. 12. Current Research <ul><li>Youth and Mentor Characteristics </li></ul><ul><li>Relationship Processes </li></ul><ul><li>Program Factors </li></ul><ul><li>Early Ending Matches </li></ul>
  13. 13. Youth and Mentor Characteristics <ul><li>Youth </li></ul><ul><li>Age at time of match </li></ul><ul><li>Risk status </li></ul><ul><li>Gender </li></ul><ul><li>Mentors </li></ul><ul><li>Income </li></ul><ul><li>Marital status </li></ul><ul><li>Age </li></ul>These matches may require a greater investment on the part of the program in the way of training, monitoring, and ongoing support and supervision to ensure the success of the relationships
  14. 14. Relationship Processes <ul><li>Duration – matches lasting for at least one year </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Calendar or academic year, depending on program </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Strength – participants feel a sense of closeness or personal connection </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Matching on the basis of shared interests may help facilitate this connection </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Longer, Stronger Matches </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Relationship duration and strength are associated with positive youth outcomes </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Other Process Factors <ul><li>Consistency of contact </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Matches meet several times each month, for a minimum of 4 hours per month (One hour per week, on average) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Match activities </li></ul><ul><li>Mentor’s approach </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Developmental or youth-centered approach produce better outcomes </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Program Factors <ul><li>Pre-match training and orientation </li></ul><ul><li>Ongoing training </li></ul><ul><li>Staff contact during relationship </li></ul><ul><li>Resources/space </li></ul><ul><li>Summer contact </li></ul>More satisfying and effective relationships (longer, stronger)
  17. 17. POLL How much training do you offer your mentors? <ul><li>Less than one hour </li></ul><ul><li>1-2 hours </li></ul><ul><li>3-4 hours </li></ul><ul><li>5-6 hours </li></ul><ul><li>More than 6 hours </li></ul>
  18. 18. Importance of Training <ul><li>Mentors receiving fewer than two hours of training reported the lowest levels of closeness and support in their relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Mentors who received more than six hours of training tended to spend more time with their mentees and reported higher levels of closeness </li></ul>
  19. 19. Themes - Early Ending Matches <ul><li>Abandonment </li></ul><ul><li>Perceived lack of mentee motivation </li></ul><ul><li>Unfulfilled expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of mentor relational skills </li></ul><ul><li>Family interference </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of agency support </li></ul>
  20. 20. Abandonment and Lack of Interest <ul><li>Mentors and youth abandoned by their partners </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stopped returning phone calls </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Missed scheduled visits </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mentors suspect lack of interest from their mentees </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Question motivation for joining the program </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Unfulfilled Expectations <ul><li>Mentor’s expectations of what they hoped it would be like </li></ul><ul><li>Mentors underestimated the needs of the youth </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges associated with building a relationship with vulnerable youth </li></ul>
  22. 22. Deficiencies in Mentors’ Relational Skills <ul><li>Not focused on the youth </li></ul><ul><li>Unrealistic expectations of the youth </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mentor’s expectation of reciprocity in the relationship </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Inability to bridge cultural divides </li></ul>
  23. 23. Family Interference and Lack of Agency Support <ul><li>Unsupportive family members </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interfering with communication between the mentor and youth </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lack of support and encouragement from programs for struggling relationships </li></ul>
  24. 24. Preventing Relationship Failures <ul><li>Some endings are unavoidable </li></ul><ul><li>However, many relationships end due to factors that could have been prevented </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Practices that can be used to manage some of the themes of early ending matches </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Preventing Relationship Failures <ul><li>Higher levels of program support </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Particularly when matching older youth or those with more complex difficulties and issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nurture the development of female matches </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Screen mentors for consistency and continuity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lengthy breaks between college terms, heavy work or family responsibilities, etc </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Clear Expectations for the Relationship <ul><li>Strategy to prevent matches from ending early when these expectations are not met </li></ul><ul><li>Spend time during the pre-match orientation and training process to help mentors and mentees identify their expectations for the match </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nature of the mentoring relationship </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Addressing typical challenges that may arise during the relationship </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Discuss Closure <ul><li>Discuss options for ending a relationship during initial orientation and training </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not simply abandon the relationship </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Appropriate termination or match closure procedure to reduce the negative effects for both parties </li></ul>
  28. 28. Addressing Cross-Cultural Differences <ul><li>Cultural training for participants </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Effectively engaging in cross-cultural relationships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cultural knowledge, skills, and personal awareness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can be addressed during mentor pre-match and ongoing training </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In addition, programs can make efforts to recruit mentors with more similar backgrounds to the children they serve </li></ul>
  29. 29. Match Support <ul><li>Monitoring of matches </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Regular contact with matches of a periodic basis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify and manage issues before they cause a match to end </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ongoing training for mentors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Assistance with challenging situations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Further develop skills as a mentor </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Conclusion <ul><li>Once the match between a mentor and a young person is made, the work has only just begun </li></ul><ul><li>Identify and address common pitfalls to better support mentors and youth in their efforts to build close, enduring, and growth-promoting relationships </li></ul><ul><li>“Do No Harm” </li></ul>
  31. 31. ACTION Section <ul><li>Typical match descriptions or “relationship prototypes” </li></ul><ul><li>Used in a variety of ways: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prospective mentor interviews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mentor training </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supervision or ongoing training </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Assess mentor expectations about the match, gauge mentor relational skills and motivation, determine amount of agency support needed </li></ul>
  32. 32. Prototype Descriptions <ul><li>Mentee Temperament </li></ul><ul><li>Mentee Motivation/Engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Mentee Environment </li></ul><ul><li>Personal Mentee Challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Relationship intensity </li></ul>
  33. 33. Example Prototype
  34. 34. MENTOR <ul><li>The leader in expanding the power of mentoring to millions of young Americans who want and need adult mentors . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Match Support and Supervision </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Match Closure </li></ul></ul>www.mentoring.org
  35. 35. <ul><li>National organization that provides training and technical assistance to youth mentoring programs. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://educationnorthwest.org/nmc </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mentor/Mentee Training and Relationship Support Resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>http://educationnorthwest.org/resource/364 </li></ul></ul></ul>Education Northwest: National Mentoring Center
  36. 36. Questions or Comments?
  37. 37. <ul><li>This presentation provides an overview of Research in Action Issue 5: Why Youth Mentoring Relationships End </li></ul><ul><li>This tool was produced by MENTOR/The National Mentoring Partnership and can be accessed on their website: </li></ul><ul><li>www.mentoring.org </li></ul>

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