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Youth-Initiated Mentoring: A Meta-Analytic Study of a Hybrid Approach to Youth Mentoring

NCJ Number
Journal of Youth and Adolescence Volume: 50 Dated: 2021 Pages: 219-230
Date Published
12 pages

The authors report on a meta-analytic review examining the association between youth-initiated programs and youth outcomes across four domains; they describe their research methodology, study participants, outcomes, and research implications.


Youth-initiated mentoring is a hybrid approach that empowers youth to identify and recruit natural mentors, potentially combining the strengths of informal mentoring relationships with the infrastructure and support provided by formal mentoring programs. This meta-analytic review examined the association between youth-initiated programs and youth outcomes across four domains: academic and vocational functioning; social-emotional development; physical health; and psychosocial problems. Results indicated that youth-initiated programs are significantly associated with positive youth outcomes. There was a small-to-medium effect size for youth-initiated programs overall, which was based on 14 studies with 11 independent samples from 2006 to 2019. The effect size was somewhat larger when controlling for possible selection bias, and was moderated by participant gender and year of publication. Implications for theory and practice regarding this relatively new approach to mentoring are discussed. Publisher Abstract Provided

Date Published: January 1, 2021