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Synthesis of OJJDP-sponsored Mentoring Research

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2018
65 pages
This report's primary purpose is to summarize and synthesize the original research projects on youth mentoring that were funded by the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).
For these 24 projects, principal investigators generally collected and analyzed data on the mentoring programs. For each project, study findings pertain to assessment of program implementation or improvement, effects of mentoring programs or practices, and mentoring relationship characteristics. The findings of these studies are summarized under the following topics: reporting gap and inconsistencies, research objectives, representativeness of programs, research methods, findings, evidence supporting mentoring program effectiveness, lack of demonstrated effectiveness of potential program improvements, implementation challenges, mixed record of success in serving vulnerable youth within programs, mentoring relationships, and limited consideration of more complex and nuanced patterns of influence. One important "next step" will be to update this synthesis to incorporate several additional OJJDP-funded projects for which final reports either became available after initiating the current report or are anticipated to be completed within the remainder of this year. It is anticipated that these projects will expand the scope and types of mentoring programs considered. In the interim, it may be useful to take steps to facilitate use of the findings of the current synthesis in both practice and research. Technical assistance could focus on potential implications for program design, implementation, improvement, and evaluation activities. 8 tables and 16 references

Date Published: September 1, 2018