Senior Honors Theses

Publication Date

Spring 4-4-2015

School

School of Behavioral Sciences

Major

Psychology; Psychology: Clinical/Experimental

Keywords

mentor, support group, Big Brothers Big Sisters, mentoring

Disciplines

Other Psychiatry and Psychology

Abstract

In recent years, mentoring has been recognized by organizations and researchers as having great importance and potential. One of the three major mentoring fields, youth mentoring has been utilized and noted as a source of support and benefit for youth. Although some reviews are conflicted, the literature has largely shown this practice of guiding youth to be effective in helping to produce improved outcomes for children later in life. Researchers have also found evidence for the benefits of mentoring for mentors that can be explained within the context of Erikson’s psychosocial theory of development. The program that was studied for this research project was Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Virginia, a mentoring program that matches like-minded children and adults in a guided and monitored relationship. Attempting to illuminate an underdeveloped point of view in the literature, this study sought to uncover the impact of the mentoring process on the mentor. The medium of support group was utilized in an attempt to add communication and enrichment to the mentoring experience and subsequently impact the mentoring process for the mentor. In measurement of stress, self-esteem, self-efficacy, and BBBS program commitment, a paired t-test showed a significant difference between pre-test and post-test scores on self-esteem only, such that participation in the support group was related to lower self-esteem scores. Implications include development of a gap in the literature and the introduction of a mentor support program with potential benefits to mentors and mentees.

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