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Title:Promoting Youth Development Through School-Based Group Mentoring
Author(s):Khan, Christina Tara
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Janet Reis
Department / Program:Kinesiology and Community Health
Discipline:Kinesiology and Community Health
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Health Sciences, Mental Health
Abstract:Mentoring is a popular preventive intervention for youth. Research in the last decade has illuminated a number of best practices in one-on-one mentoring, including several program factors associated with positive youth outcomes in academic, behavioral, and social domains. What remains less clear are the processes by which mentoring has its effects and how non-traditional approaches to mentoring may benefit youth. This study investigated the impact of an innovative school-based group mentoring program on social, behavioral, and scholastic outcomes for youth. TALKS Mentoring employs a cognitive-behavioral approach to youth mentoring that emphasizes leadership skill development through peer-to-peer and youth-adult interactions. The evaluation study was comprised of both qualitative and quantitative phases and utilized a cross-sectional survey design. Youth's social competence, conflict resolution, aggression, and perceived social support were measured. A conceptual model was examined in which the effects of the mentoring relationship on youth outcomes were hypothesized to be additive over and above contextual environmental factors. Social support from adults at school and from peers were conceptualized as outcome variables, while family support was considered a contextual factor. Features of TALKS Mentoring were related to social and behavioral skills but not to externalizing behavioral events. The most significant findings of the study identify the association of two specific features of TALKS Mentoring---mentoring relationship quality and discussions about the self---with youth's self-reported conflict resolution and social interaction skills. The association of relationship quality with perceived peer support was also substantial and statistically significant. Findings from this exploratory study suggest that a cognitive-behavioral approach to youth mentoring may be a valuable supplement to behavioral skills training in the public school setting. School districts that are challenged by concerns with interpersonal climate may especially benefit by involvement of their students in group mentoring. Future directions for TALKS Mentoring and research on non-traditional modalities of youth mentoring are discussed.
Issue Date:2005
Description:234 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2005.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3202112
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2005

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