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Mentoring Programs for Youth: A Promising Intervention for Delinquency Prevention

NCJ Number
255647
Date Published
May 2021
Length
14 pages
Author(s)
David L. DuBois
Agencies
NIJ
Annotation

This NIJ Journal article reviews the current state of mentoring research, covering a range of issues involved in evaluating programs’ effectiveness and impact.

Abstract

Mentoring programs are a prominent strategy for preventing and reducing delinquent behavior among at-risk youth. This NIJ Journal article reviews the current state of mentoring research, covering a range of issues involved in evaluating programs’ effectiveness and impact. With respect to program effectiveness, the article outlines current challenges — such as the need to understand how mentoring relationships actually exert influence on youth outcomes — and potential paths forward, such as using evaluation results to drive continuous improvement. With respect to the population-level impact of mentoring programs, the article discusses challenges such as recruiting enough mentors and evaluating programs across multiple sites. Potential future directions include recruiting mentors from a broader array of backgrounds and providing technical assistance for communities to select the mentoring program best suited to their local needs and resources. The article closes with a call for further research into areas such as mechanisms of change, iterative development, and the long-term effects of mentoring.

Date Created: April 26, 2021