U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Deconstructing "Risk" in Youth Mentoring Programs: How Environmental Stressors and Presenting Challenges Shape Mentoring Relationship Outcomes

NCJ Number
Journal of Early Adolescence Volume: 42 Issue: 6 Dated: 2022 Pages: 793-821
C. Y. S. Poon ; et al
Date Published
29 pages

This article presents a study that examined patterns of youth social challenges.


This study drew on data for youth participants in 30 mentoring programs (n = 2,165, 55.1% females) to examine patterns of presenting challenges. Four profiles emerged using three-step latent profile analyses. Profiles with more intensive symptoms were associated with more environmental stressors. Moreover, there were significant differences between profiles in youth-perceived relationship attributes, including closeness, youth-centeredness, growth focus and mentor-mentee relational health. The profile with the highest externalizing and social challenge indicators scored the lowest across these four relational indices. The results highlight variability of youth risk at baseline, and its differential impact on mentoring relationship outcomes. Implications for mentoring programs are discussed. (Publisher abstract provided)