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A debate that was alive in 2002, when the first New Directions for Youth Development volume on mentoring, edited by Jean Rhodes, was published, centers on whether goal-oriented or relationship-focused interactions (conversations and activities) prove to be more essential for effective youth ...
A debate that was alive in 2002, when the first New Directions for Youth Development volume on mentoring, edited by Jean Rhodes, was published, centers on whether goal-oriented or relationship-focused interactions (conversations and activities) prove to be more essential for effective youth mentoring. The consensus appeared then to be that the mentoring context defined the answer: in workplace mentoring with teens, an instrumental relationship was deemed essential and resulted in larger impacts, while in the community setting, the developmental relationship was the key ingredient of change.
Recent large-scale studies of school-based mentoring have raised this question once again and suggest that understanding how developmental and instrumental relationship styles manifest through goal-directed and relational interactions is essential to effective practice. Because the contexts in which youth mentoring occurs (in the community, in school during the day, or in a structured program after school) affect what happens in the mentor-mentee pair, our goal was to bring together a diverse group of researchers to describe the focus, purpose, and authorship of the mentoring interactions that happen in these contexts in order to help mentors and program staff better understand how youth mentoring relationships can be effective.
This is the 126th issue of New Directions for Youth Development the Jossey-Bass quarterly report series dedicated to bringing together everyone concerned with helping young people, including scholars, practitioners, and people from different disciplines and professions. The result is a unique resource presenting thoughtful, multi-faceted approaches to helping our youth develop into responsible, stable, well-rounded citizens.
1. Youth mentoring with a balanced focus, shared purpose, and collaborative interactions (Michael J. Karcher, Michael J. Nakkula)
This article presents the framework for understanding the nature of mentoring interactions that helps organize the other articles in this volume in terms of their analysis of interaction focus, purpose, and authorship.
2. Mutual but unequal: Mentoring as a hybrid of familiar relationship roles (Thomas E. Keller, Julia M. Pryce)
This article presents evidence favoring a hybrid model of relationships for successful school-based mentoring interactions.
3. "I dunno, what do you wanna do?": Testing a framework to guide mentor training and activity selection (Michael J. Karcher, Carla Herrera, Keoki Hansen)
This article tests hypotheses regarding the distinction between relational and goal-directed interactions and the importance of collaborative activity negotiations between mentors and mentees.
4. Beyond the dichotomy of work and fun: Measuring the thorough interrelatedness of structure and quality in youth mentoring relationships (Michael J. Nakkula, John T. Harris)
This article presents and discusses associations between match structure (guiding purposes and activity focus) and ratings of mentoring relationship quality.
5. GirlPOWER! Strengthening mentoring relationships through a structured, gender-specific program (Julia M. Pryce, Naida Silverthorn, Bernadette Sanchez, David L. DuBois)
This article describes a structured approach to supporting girls through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program that balances focus, purpose, and authorship.
6. Deconstructing serendipity: Focus, purpose, and authorship in lunch buddy mentoring (Timothy A. Cavell, Joye L. Henrie)
This article describes the particulars of lunch buddy mentoring and the reasons that it might be an effective form of youth mentoring.
7. The structure of effective academic mentoring in late adolescence (Simon Larose, Diane Cyrenne, Odette Garceau, Pascale Brodeur, George M. Tarabulsy)
This article explores the structure of the academic mentoring relationship in late adolescence through analysis of its varied experiences and mentor behaviors.
8. Building mentoring relationships (Stephen F. Hamilton, Mary Agnes Hamilton)
This first of three commentaries provides a historical perspective on the work presented in this volume.
9. Culture, context, and innovation: A Kiwi Canuck perspective (Dave Marshall, Karen Shaver)
Two leading practitioners discuss the benefits of the contributions in this volume for helping mentors working with youth in Canada, New Zealand, and other diverse contexts.
10. Structuring mentoring relationships for competence, character, and purpose (Jean E. Rhodes, Renée Spencer)
This closing commentary addresses the importance of exploring different approaches to youth mentoring and the potential impact of such approaches on youth outcomes.