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Brief Instrumental School-Based Mentoring for Middle School Students: Theory and Impact

NCJ Number
Advances in School Mental Health Promotion Volume: 9 Issue: 2 Dated: 2016 Pages: 73-89
Date Published
17 pages

The authors present their evaluation of the effectiveness of an brief, school-based and academic goal-focused mentoring program; they describe the background to their study as well as methodology, and outcomes.


This study evaluated the efficacy of an intentionally brief school-based mentoring program. This academic goal-focused mentoring program was developed through a series of iterative randomized controlled trials, and is informed by research in social cognitive theory, cognitive dissonance theory, motivational interviewing, and research in academic enablers. In previous research, the program was found to produce effects on students’ math grades, life satisfaction, and disruptive behavior. In the current study, a revised version of the program was tested in a randomized controlled trial, wherein 72 middle school students were randomly assigned to receive an eight-week mentoring curriculum, or to a no-treatment control. Following the treatment, middle school students who participated in the mentoring curriculum had statistically significantly higher math grades, English grades, life satisfaction, and fewer absences. Small, but statistically insignificant effects were also found for science and history. Near-zero effects were found for behavioral infractions. Publisher Abstract Provided

Date Published: January 1, 2016