Expert Corner

Strengthening Adult Capacities to Improve Child Outcomes

Strengthening Adult Capacities to Improve Child Outcomes

by Jack P. Shonkoff, Harvard University Achieving sustained prosperity in any society depends on building a strong foundation in all children in order to help them fulfill many roles: successful learners, healthy and productive workers, contributing members of their community, and effective parents of the next generation. Early childhood policies and programs contribute to these […]

Changes to Key Numbers in “The Mentoring Effect” Report

Changes to Key Numbers in “The Mentoring Effect” Report

by David DuBois This report as originally issued (Bruce & Bridgeland, 2014, see URL to current version of report below) included the conclusion that an estimated 4.5 million at-risk young people (ages 8-18) are currently in mentoring relationships. It turns out that this conclusion (as well as analogous ones made for not at risk youth, […]

Everyone needs a beta! Mentoring relationships in the fan fiction community

Everyone needs a beta! Mentoring relationships in the fan fiction community

by Sarah Schwartz As a part of the MacArthur Research Network on Connected Learning, I have been experiencing a steep learning curve when it comes to the potential of utilizing new technology and web-based platforms to facilitate learning and connection (as a psychologist, my focus has been primarily on face-to-face relationships). Recently I have been […]

Forum

FORUM: Should mentors and mentees be “friends” on social media?

FORUM: Should mentors and mentees be “friends” on social media?

It goes without saying that social media has dramatically changed the way people interact and share their lives with others over the past decade. We now have the ability to broadcast information about ourselves to audiences at a scale that once would have seemed unimaginable. We also have the ability to carefully curate a “public” […]

POLL: Does your program have a fully-developed theory of change?

POLL: Does your program have a fully-developed theory of change?

Recently I’ve been thinking about a “disconnect” that I often see in the mentoring field: the difference between what programs say they can achieve through mentoring and what they actually do in practice. Now, most mentoring programs can obviously give a reasonable description of the goals of their program and some explanation of what mentors […]

FORUM: How do you encourage mentors to support students academically?

FORUM: How do you encourage mentors to support students academically?

For the longest time, policymakers, school districts, and educators have been trying to figure out how to use the power of mentoring to support students academically. Early on, this led to mentoring programs that were “mentoring” in name, but heavy on tutoring or other direct academic support in terms of the actual activities volunteers and […]

New Mentoring Research

An effective group mentoring program that draws on cognitive behavior therapy

An effective group mentoring program that draws on cognitive behavior therapy

Editor’s note: Researchers implemented a mentoring program that was grounded in evidence-based therapeutic practices. This appears to be a very promising approach to group mentoring. University of Chicago Crime Lab. (2012). BAM – sports edition: Research and policy brief. Chicago, IL:   Crime Lab. University of Chicago program combines group mentoring and sports to reduce […]

New study shows important pathway to mentor commitment

New study shows important pathway to mentor commitment

Gettings, P.E. & Wilson, S.R. (2014). Examining commitment and relational maintenance in formal youth mentoring relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 1-27, DOI: 10.1177/0265407514522145. summarized by UMass Boston doctoral student, Stella Kanchewa, M.A. Background: Previous studies (e.g., Grossman et al. 2012; Grossman & Rhodes, 2002) have established the formation of an enduring relationship as […]

Caring adult support associated with youth “sparks”

Caring adult support associated with youth “sparks”

Ben-Eliyahu, A., Rhodes, J., & Scales, P. (in press). The interest-driven pursuits of 15-year-olds: “Sparks” and their association with caring relationships and developmental outcomes. Applied Developmental Science.   Summarized by Postdoctoral Fellow, Adar Ben-Eliyahu Problem: Researchers have characterized a spark as a “passion for a self-identified interest, skill or capacity that metaphorically lights a fire in […]

Research From Related Fields

To disclose or not to disclose?

To disclose or not to disclose?

Edited by Renée Spencer Editor’s Note: Much like therapists, mentors are often confronted with making decisions – often on the spot – about what kind of information to share with their mentees and when. Laura Yoviene’s summary of a recent review article on therapist self-disclosure offers some insights and food for thought for tackling the […]

How an Innovative Youth Program is Tackling Mass Incarceration

How an Innovative Youth Program is Tackling Mass Incarceration

By DAX-DEVLON ROSS Nine years ago Molly Baldwin found herself in a curious position. Roca, the teenage pregnancy and violence prevention program she’d founded in her 20s, had a multimillion-dollar budget, a two-story building in downtown Chelsea, Mass., a portfolio of programs addressing everything from poverty to immigrant rights and a measure of fame for using Native […]

News Flash: Boys and Girls Take Different Paths to Empathy

News Flash: Boys and Girls Take Different Paths to Empathy

Van der Graaff, J., Branje, S., De Wied, M., Hawk, S., Van Lier, P. & Meeus, W. (2014). Perspective taking and empathic concern in adolescence: Gender differences in developmental changes. Developmental Psychology, (3), 881-888. doi: 10.1037/a0034325 By Tara Kuther Empathy, the capacity to take another person’s perspective and appreciate their emotion, is thought to increase over […]

Profiles in Mentoring

Rising Star: Meet Dr. Lindsey Weiler

Rising Star: Meet Dr. Lindsey Weiler

Editors Note: We are pleased to introduce mentoring researcher, Lindsey Weiler. Lindsey is currently working as a postdoctoral fellow under the direction of  Dr. Heather Taussig. In this segment, UMass Boston doctoral student, Stella Kanchewa (SK), delves deeper into Lindsey’s (LW’s) work with Mentor Families and more  SK Your research has focused on vulnerable youth […]

Pedro Noguera: Why students need more than ‘grit’

Pedro Noguera: Why students need more than ‘grit’

By Pedro A. Noguera and Anindya Kundu Recently, “grit” has received growing attention from educators and others as the critical ingredient to academic success. Given our nation’s admiration for the rugged individual, it is understandable why we choose to glorify guts and grit. However, it is less clear why the idea has become such a […]

An interview with Professors Greg Duncan and Richard Murnane

An interview with Professors Greg Duncan and Richard Murnane

Editor’s note: If you are interested in how poverty affects young people and their educational opportunities, I’d like recommend  Whither Opportunity? Rising Inequality, Schools, and Outcomes, edited by Greg Duncan (U.C.-Irvine) and Richard Murnane (Harvard University). This volume explores how rising inequality is compromising the capacity of public schools to provide our nation’s youth with opportunities for […]

News & Resources

In Brooklyn Mentoring Program, Arts Volunteers Get Tattoos Designed by Teens

In Brooklyn Mentoring Program, Arts Volunteers Get Tattoos Designed by Teens

By ANDREW LAVALLEE  BROOKLYN, N.Y.—Over lunch at Carmine’s II Pizzeria Ristorante in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood, Stella Hirsch, a 38-year-old attorney, got to know Devin Lopez, a 16-year-old high-school sophomore. Hours later, his name was tattooed on her right ankle. Days earlier, she was one of more than 250 people who responded to an Instagram post […]

Goodwill® Announces Enhanced GoodGuides® Youth Mentoring Program

Goodwill® Announces Enhanced GoodGuides® Youth Mentoring Program

ROCKVILLE, Md., April 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ – Goodwill is enhancing its successful national youth mentoring program in an effort to assist more youth in high-risk situations to make better life choices. At this critical moment, with high youth unemployment discouraging many teens, young people need positive role models who show them that they can indeed succeed. […]

OJJDP releases new grant solicitations

OJJDP releases new grant solicitations

OJJDP continues to take the lead in funding ground breaking mentoring research and services. Below is a list of the most recent, a review that might be helpful in preparing applications.   Practitioner-Researcher Partnership Mentoring Children   Deadline: May 27, 2014 “This demonstration program will support a practitioner-researcher partnership to develop and evaluate new mentoring […]