Editors Blog

The Science is Clear: Separating Families has Long-term Damaging Psychological and Health Consequences for Children, Families, and Communities

The Science is Clear: Separating Families has Long-term Damaging Psychological and Health Consequences for Children, Families, and Communities

Editor’s Note: Given national events, and our field’s commitment to the lives of vulnerable youth, I devote this week’s column to an expert statement by from the Society for Research on Child Development (SRCD) on the effects of separating families. To read the statement by David Shapiro, CEO of MENTOR, on behalf of the National […]

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Who exactly was Mentor?: A stunning revelation and some important lessons

Who exactly was Mentor?: A stunning revelation and some important lessons

by Jean Rhodes Researchers and practitioners often refer to Homer’s Odyssey, when discussing the ancient roots of mentoring. In it Odysseus appoints an old friend, Mentor, to watch over his household and son, Telemachus, in his absence during the Trojan War. By nearly all accounts Mentor was a protective, guiding and supportive figure who acted […]

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“Then a miracle occurs:” Why we need a better understanding of youth mentoring

“Then a miracle occurs:” Why we need a better understanding of youth mentoring

by Jean Rhodes Early in my career, I developed a conceptual model of youth mentoring that, to my surprise, has been a remarkably durable and useful heuristic. It has been applied to formal and natural mentoring relationships and used to explain everything from short-term, goal-focused relationships with classroom volunteers to lifelong bonds with devoted grandparents. […]

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What is the “single greatest threat to children’s well-being:” And how can mentoring help?

What is the “single greatest threat to children’s well-being:” And how can mentoring help?

by Jean Rhodes “The way a problem is defined determines not only what is done about it, but also what is not done—or what apparently need not be done.”   Caplan, N., & Nelson, S. D. (1973). On being useful: The nature and consequences of psychological research on social problems. American Psychologist, 28(3), 199-211. According to data […]

Encouraging results: A sneak preview of a new meta-analysis on natural mentoring

Encouraging results: A sneak preview of a new meta-analysis on natural mentoring

Levi Van Dam, L., Wildschut, B., Smit, D., Branje, S., Rhodes, J., Assink, M., Stams, G. J., (in press). Does natural mentoring matter? A multilevel meta-analysis on the association between natural mentoring and youth outcomes. American Journal of Community Psychology. By Levi Van Dam and Jean Rhodes Natural mentoring relationships are far more common than those […]

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A pyramid scheme for mentoring programs: Well, not exactly

A pyramid scheme for mentoring programs: Well, not exactly

Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction. John F. Kennedy by Jean Rhodes Although most youth interventions are developed in response to particular needs or goals, mentoring programs were conceived more broadly as an extension of informal helping relationships. For nearly a century, most volunteer mentors were tasked simply with building friendships […]

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Embedded mentoring: An important new approach to helping today’s youth

Embedded mentoring: An important new approach to helping today’s youth

by Jean Rhodes My friend Rick recently shared a graduation photo with his long-time mentee that conveyed so much love and pride I was moved to tears. Rick and Kevin were paired through a program that embraces the “friendship” model. Rather than take a focused, skills approach, Rick was tasked only with forging a close, […]

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Ending mentoring relationships: Important lessons from child psychotherapy

Ending mentoring relationships: Important lessons from child psychotherapy

by Jean Rhodes Research on early terminations in therapy, including the specific behaviors and attitudes that increase their likelihood, is relevant to mentoring relationships. Nearly half of all therapeutic ties terminate prematurely, owing to a variety of factors. Sometimes parents or spouses sabotage the process; sometimes clients reenact earlier, dysfunctional behaviors; and sometimes clients are dissatisfied […]

What we can learn from a “glittering ounce” of good news

What we can learn from a “glittering ounce” of good news

“Good news is rare these days, and every glittering ounce of it should be cherished and hoarded and worshiped and fondled like a priceless diamond.” -Hunter S. Thompson by Jean Rhodes Let us take a moment to recognize an extraordinary mentoring program that recently produced remarkably promising findings. The Arches Transformative Mentoring program has delivered […]

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Tipping points and a path to more effective mentoring
By February 15, 2018 5 Comments Read More →

Tipping points and a path to more effective mentoring

By Jean Rhodes In a recent JAMA psychiatry paper, Boston University researchers described a very effective strategy for helping depressed, overwhelmed low-income young women engage in active problem solving. In just six 45 minute one-on-one sessions, the women learned how to discuss the daily “sticky points” in their lives and then, as the lead author […]