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