An investigation of mentor and program characteristics associated with mentor perception of relationship quality
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Mentoring between adults and youth or children at risk is a widely used intervention. However, mentoring relationships often end prematurely and this may place a vulnerable mentee at even greater risk. Research suggests that mentors who are more satisfied with the relationship may be more likely to persist longer in the relationship. The purpose of this study was to identify specific characteristics within- mentors and mentoring programs that are associated with mentor perceived relationship quality with the mentoring experience. The study specifically investigated whether mentors' motivations for engaging in the mentoring program, mentoring style, and previous training and experience are associated with mentors' perception of relationship quality. Within-program characteristics such as program training and support provided to the mentor was also examined to determine how these factors may be related to the mentor's perception of relationship quality. Mentors were contacted through the administrator of their program and asked to complete an online survey which queried specific within-mentor and within-program characteristics. Five mentoring programs participated in the survey with a total n= 72 of mentors included in the study. Results from the study suggest that mentors' perception of relationship quality may be influenced by mentoring style, a within- mentor characteristic. This within-mentor characteristic explained 22% of the variance of mentor perception of relationship quality. Demographic information was also gathered on mentor characteristics such as education, age, and career of the mentor as well as possible risk factors of the mentees according to the perception of the mentor. Limitations of the study and contributions to the field of mentoring and future research directions are discussed.
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