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Effects of Cross-Age Peer Mentoring Program Within a Randomized Control Trial

NCJ Number
Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness Volume: 16 Issue: 3 Dated: 2023 Pages: 473-500
Eric Jenner; Katherine Lass; Sarah Walsh; Hilary Demby; Rebekah Leger; Gretchen Falk
Date Published
28 pages

This impact study evaluated the efficacy of the Peer Group Connection (PGC) program.


This paper summarizes results from an impact study that employed a randomized controlled trial to estimate the efficacy of a cross-age peer mentor program, the Peer Group Connection (PGC) program, designed to prevent school dropout during the transition from middle to high school. Given the adverse effects of the transition to high school, this promising evidence indicates that the cross-age peer mentoring intervention could be an effective strategy for high schools to implement that leverages existing staff and students. The authors present findings from the intent-to-treat (ITT) analyses, which included 1,351 ninth-grade students, alongside those of two different methods that estimate the complier average causal effect (CACE) of participating in the program. Although the confirmatory study, which investigated impact on attendance and credit accrual in ninth grade, was null, ITT analyses on exploratory outcomes indicate modest, yet potentially meaningful program impact on ninth-grade outcomes of discipline, school attachment, and expectations of degree attainment across varying dosage levels. CACE estimates also suggest that a threshold level of program participation broadens the program’s impact on additional exploratory academic achievement and social and emotional learning outcomes. (Published Abstract Provided)