A Qualitative Analysis of Mentee Experiences in a Campus-Based Mentoring Program


  • Shelley A. Haddock Colorado State University
  • Toni Schindler Zimmerman Colorado State University
  • April Gile Thomas Univesity of Texas at El Paso, Department of Psychology
  • Lindsey M. Weiler University of Minnesota
  • Jen Krafchick Colorado State University
  • Gereon J. Fredrickson Colorado State University




at-risk youth, youth mentoring, qualitative methods, individual interviews


Preventing first-time offending youth from repeating delinquent behavior is of interest to society. Empirical evidence indicates that high-quality mentoring can prevent a wide array of negative outcomes for at-risk youth. This study examines the perspectives of 87 first-time offending youth, ages 10 to 18 years (M = 15), who participated in Campus Connections: Therapeutic Mentoring of At-Risk Youth. Through in-depth individual interviews, youth reported that mentoring helped them: (a) improve school experiences and performance, (b) create healthier relationships, (c) feel better about themselves, (d) think more positively about their future, and (e) decrease engagement in delinquency. The mentees attributed program components as well as the relationship with their mentor as important. These program components can be integrated into other mentoring programs. 

Author Biographies

Shelley A. Haddock, Colorado State University

Shelley A. Haddock, PhD, LMFT is an associate professor in the Marriage and Family Therapy Program of the Human Development and Family Studies Department at Colorado State University


Toni Schindler Zimmerman, Colorado State University

Toni Schindler Zimmerman, PhD, LMFT is a professor and director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program in the Human Development and Family Studies Department at Colorado State University.

Lindsey M. Weiler, University of Minnesota

Lindsey M. Weiler, PhD, LMFT is an assistant professor in the Department of Family Social Science and an affiliate faculty member with the Institute for Translational Research in Children’s Mental Health at the University of Minnesota.

Jen Krafchick, Colorado State University

Jen Krafchick, PhD is an assistant professor in the Human Development and Family Studies Department at Colorado State University


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