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Mentoring Program Enhancements Supporting Effective Mentoring of Children of Incarcerated Parents

NCJ Number
American Journal of Community Psychology Volume: 62 Issue: 1-2 Dated: 2018 Pages: 163-174
Kathryn N. Stump; Janis B. Kupersmidt; Rebecca L. Stelter; Jean E. Rhodes
Date Published
12 pages
This study examined the impact of mentoring and mentoring program enhancements on children of incarcerated parents (COIP).
Children of incarcerated parents (COIP) are at risk for a range of negative outcomes; however, participating in a mentoring relationship can be a promising intervention for these youth. In the current study, secondary data analyses were conducted on an archival database consisting of 70,729 matches from 216 Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) local agencies to establish the differential effects of mentoring on COIP. A subset of 45 BBBS agencies, representing 25,252 matches, participated in a telephone interview about program enhancements for better serving COIP. Results revealed that enhanced program practices, including having specific program goals, providing specialized mentor training, and receiving additional funding resulted in better outcomes for COIP matches. Specifically, specialized mentor training and receiving additional funding for serving matches containing COIP were associated with longer and stronger matches. Having specific goals for serving COIP was associated with higher educational expectations in COIP. Results are discussed in terms of benefits of a relationship-based intervention for addressing the needs of COIP and suggestions for program improvements when mentoring programs are serving this unique population of youth. (publisher abstract modified)