SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 1: Preston, J. M., Prieto-Flores, O., & Rhodes, J. E. (2018). Mentoring in context: A comparative study of youth mentoring programs in the United States and Continental Europe. Youth & Society.

Abstract: Most of the existing body of research on formal youth mentoring has focused on programs in the United States, with few inquiries into how mentoring programs have taken shape in other contexts. In this article, we compare and contrast programs in the United States and continental Europe to investigate how context shapes the ways in which programs are conceived and implemented. Concerns about inequality and delinquency have been major drivers of program expansion in the United States, while concerns about the influx of migrants into linguistically and culturally homogeneous communities have fostered the expansion of programs in continental Europe. Through a series of program comparisons, we explored differences in volunteer characteristics, target populations, and how programs and benefits are construed. Implications for implementation and future research across both contexts are discussed.

Journal Article 2: Weiler, L. M., Chesmore, A. A., Pryce, J., Haddock, S. A., & Rhodes, T. (2017). Mentor response to youth academic support-seeking behavior: Does attunement matter? Youth & Society, 51, 548–569.

Abstract: Mentoring-based interventions for adolescent offenders are promising strategies for reducing the likelihood of academic underachievement, truancy, and school dropout. Program effectiveness, however, varies widely. Investigation into factors that strengthen the impact of mentoring on academic-related outcomes is warranted. One factor might be academic attunement, or the degree to which a mentor’s emphasis on academics is consistent with youth’s academic support–seeking behavior and desire for academic help. This within-group study examined the relationship between mentor attunement and academic outcomes among youth (N = 204; ages 11-18; 54.5% male) who participated in a time-limited mentoring program. Latent profile analysis identified three distinct groups: attuned mentors, overfocused mentors, and underfocused mentors. In general, youth with attuned mentors reported better postintervention scores as compared with youth with misattuned (i.e., overfocused or underfocused) mentors on perception of school usefulness and importance, academic self-efficacy, and truancy, but not grade point average. Findings suggest the importance of monitoring academic attunement.