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Highlights from research presented at the 2008 Summer Institute on Youth Mentoring held at Portland State University.

Highlights from research presented at the 2008 Summer Institute on Youth Mentoring held at Portland State University.

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  • 1:45-1:50 Introductions, April & Becky, NOT the group Chose Corinthian Columns to connect to Blueprint/building bridges theme – also because Becky and I are headed to Athens, Greece in a couple of weeks.

Transcript

  • 1. From Portland to You: Highlights from the Summer Institute on Youth Mentoring Presenters: Rebecca Pilarzyk, MSW, LGSW & April (McHugh) Riordan
  • 2. Research based mentoring practices… building the plane while flying.
  • 3. Summer Institute on Youth Mentoring
    • Developed by Dr. Tom Keller, Portland State University
    • Professional development for experienced mentoring professionals
  • 4. Bridging Research & Practice
    • Intensive, week-long seminar
    • In depth dialogue between researchers and professionals
    • Professionals learn about latest research in field
    • Researchers better understand the issues and challenges of actual program operations
  • 5. Program Staff: Keys to Successful Mentoring Keller, Thomas E., Ph.D., Portland State University, MENTOR Research In Action Series: Program Staff in Mentoring Programs: Qualifications, Training, and Retention Staff Qualifications Staff Retention Staff Training
  • 6. SIYM Themes
    • 2007 – School-Based Mentoring
    • 2008 – Issues of Diversity in Mentoring
    • 2009 - ??
  • 7. 2007 Research Fellows
    • Timothy Cavell, Ph.D.
    • Carla Herrera, Ph.D.
    • Michael Karcher, Ph.D., Ed.D.
    • Renee Spencer, Ed.D.
  • 8. 2008 Research Fellows
    • Jean Grossman, Ph.D.
    • Laurie Powers, Ph.D.
    • Michael Karcher, Ph.D., Ed.D.
    • Bernadette Sanchez, Ph.D.
  • 9. Creating & Sustaining Formal Mentoring Relationships
    • Only half of formal mentoring relationships last beyond a few months
      • Rhodes, 2002
    • Early termination rate is even higher among more vulnerable youth
      • Grossman & Rhodes, 2002
    • When relationships end within the first few months, they have potential to do harm
      • Grossman & Rhodes, 2002; Karcher, 2005
  • 10. Why Do Youth Mentoring Relationships End?
    • Youth & mentor characteristics
    • Relationship processes
    • Program factors
    • Other factors
  • 11. Youth & Mentor Characteristics
    • Age of young person at time of match
    • Youth risk status
    • Gender
    • Volunteer income, age, marital status
  • 12. Relationship Processes
    • Relationship duration and strength
    • Sense of closeness or personal connection
    • Matching based on shared interests
    • Consistency of contact
    • Mentor’s approach
  • 13. Program Factors
    • Pre-match & ongoing training
    • Staff contact
    • Resources & space
    • Summer Contact
    In one study of both school- and community-based mentoring programs, mentors who received fewer than two hours of training reported the lowest levels of closeness and support in their relationships with youth, whereas mentors who received more than six hours of pre-match training and orientation tended to spend more time with protégés and also reported higher levels of closeness.
  • 14. Other factors
    • Abandonment and Lack of Interest
    • Unfulfilled Expectations
    • Deficiencies in Mentors’ Relational Skills
    • Family Interference and Lack of Agency Support
  • 15. Discussion
    • Keeping in mind that not all early endings are avoidable, what role can programs play in preventing some relationship failures?
  • 16. Activity
    • There can only be one mentee for each mentor.
    • No speaking can occur. The matching must be done only by looking at each other’s labels.
  • 17. Questions Raised By Issues of Diversity:
    • Should we match youth only with mentors of the same racial, ethnic, and cultural background?
    • Do boys need a male mentor to benefit from the experience?
    • Does mentoring “work,” or not, for certain populations of youth?
  • 18. Questions Raised By Issues of Diversity:
    • What type of person makes a good mentor? And for whom?
    • How do we train mentors to work effectively with youth from backgrounds vastly different than their own?
    • Can our diverse society ever find agreement on the purpose and role of a mentor, or do we let groups define the concept of mentoring differently?
  • 19. Diversity of Impacts
    • While we talk to funders about the impact mentoring has on the “average youth,” no youth is “average”
    • They differ on:
      • Age, gender, race, ethnicity
      • Family characteristics
      • Past experience
      • Their stage of development
    Dr. Jean Grossman, Senior Vice President for Research at Public/Private Ventures (P/PV)
  • 20. SUMMARY OF IMPACT FINDINGS BY SUBGROUP Dr. Jean Grossman, Senior Vice President for Research at Public/Private Ventures (P/PV) Population Outcome Overall Boys Girls Minority Boys Minority Girls White Boys White Girls Initiate Drug Use X X X X Initiate Alcohol Use X X Hit Others X X (x) X Self-Reported Grades X X X Skip a Day of School X X X X Social Acceptance X Parental Relationship X X X
  • 21. Role of School Setting for Match Development
    • Large positive impact on school connectedness for mentored elementary age boys,
    • Significant decrease for high school age boys.
    • High school girls had large gains in connectedness after being mentored.
  • 22. School Settings Varied at Different Grade Levels
    • Elementary school matches had more freedom to move around the school, spent more time engaged in games and playful activities, and spent less time discussing youth problems such as grades or behavior.
    • High school matches spent their time in more confined spaces like the library or cafeteria, had less access to games and playtime, and spent much more time discussing “areas of improvement” for the mentee.
  • 23. Sitting at a table in a high school cafeteria and talking with a boy about his problems in front of his peers is just not a good way to go. Dr. Michael Karcher
  • 24. Risk & Rewards of Cross-Race Matching
    • Cross-race matches necessary given the demographics of mentees and mentors in the United States
    • No strong evidence that same-race matches are generally more or less effective than cross-race ones
  • 25. Cultural Mistrust, Cultural Sensitivity & Ethno-Cultural Empathy
    • When either mentors or mentees have high levels of cultural mistrust their cross-race relationships are less youth-centered, less close, less helpful to the youth in addressing his or her problems, and are generally less satisfying.
    • Matches with high levels of cultural sensitivity are more trusting and satisfying to both mentor and mentee.
    • High levels of ethno-cultural empathy predicted higher levels of relationship satisfaction and an increase in mentees seeking out support from their mentors.
  • 26. Lessons From Natural Mentoring
    • Desired characteristics of natural mentoring relationships evolve for youth as they get older
    • Early adolescents tend to choose mentors within their own families
    • Extra-familial adults more important to older youth
    • Older youth expect more reciprocal relationships with mentors
  • 27. Mentoring Youth With Disabilities
    • Research from several small studies, produced significant outcomes for participants (many far greater than those found in other mentoring research).
    • Youth increased feelings of self- determination, more confident about community participation, reported enhanced skills and more effective planning for independent living.
    • Parents reported feeling more confident child’s abilities and improved home life.
  • 28. Best Practice for Mentoring Youth With Disabilities
    • Recognize that program is likely already serving these youth
    • Disability = diversity
    • Labels don’t predict how child will respond to mentoring
    • Most helpful info comes from family and trusted adults, not IEPs
    • Strength-based vs. disability/ diagnosis based
    • Consider same-disability matches
  • 29. Most Important…
    • Build on a self-determination framework :
      • Support development of positive, strengths based match relationships that build trust and foster youth confidence and pride.
      • Build match activities around youth-stated goals
      • Provide opportunities for youth to practice new skills in service of their goals
      • Create opportunities for mentors to interact with parents
      • Get youth out into the community and interacting with individuals and organizations they would not have otherwise.
  • 30. Conclusions
    • The opportunity to have fun and a strong sense of trust are critical components to any match regardless of the age of the mentee
    • Each mentoring participant and relationship is unique. While mentoring does have commonly agreed-upon best practices, the diversity of its participants insists that one size does not ultimately fit all .
    Garringer, Michael; MRC August 2008 Fact Sheet , National Mentoring Center, NWREL.
  • 31. http://www.youthmentoring.ssw.pdx.edu
      • How can you participate?
        • Online application
        • Limited to 25 participants
        • $725 tuition/scholarships available
  • 32. Questions?