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Brief Instrumental School-Based Mentoring for First- and Second-Year Middle School Students: A Randomized Evaluation

NCJ Number
Journal of Community Psychology Volume: 43 Issue: 7 Dated: 2015 Pages: 885-99
Date Published
15 pages

This paper describes the experimental evaluation of a middle school-based mentoring program that is based on practices adapted from evidence-based counseling and academic interventions; the authors discuss their research methodology, outcomes, and policy implications.


A limitation of school-based mentoring (SBM) is the lack of structured, evidence-based practices in mentoring sessions that explicitly target school-relevant outcomes, such as academic performance and school behavior. To address this concern, we developed and experimentally evaluated a brief SBM program based on practices adapted from evidence-based counseling and academic interventions with the goal of improving the academic and behavioral performance of middle school students. The results indicate that students randomly assigned to instrumental SBM with an average of 8 sessions over a 2.5-month period showed better math grades, reduced school behavioral office referrals, and increased life satisfaction when compared to students randomly assigned to the control group. Tentatively, the authors’ results suggest that SBM programs may benefit from the incorporation of instrumental elements founded in evidence-based practices. Publisher Abstract Provided

Date Published: January 1, 2015