Measurement of Mentoring Processes


Despite many years of research and evidence that mentoring has benefits for youth, little is known about how those benefits are derived. This is a measurement development study to produce an assessment tool of the processes theorized to comprise how mentoring benefits youth. Four processes have been identified and candidate items have been created for initial scale development; they are currently being tested for reliability and validity.

This project is being carried out in collaboration with the national office of the Big Brothers Big Sisters and other mentoring organizations across the country. Seed funding supports the development work for the scale survey and incentives for participation. This project has garnered considerable interest in the mentoring world and will lead to opportunities for external funding in evaluation of mentoring impact.

Related Reports, “Mentoring Programs to Affect Delinquency and Associated Outcomes of Youth at Risk: A Comprehensive Meta-analytic Review,” published in the Journal of Experimental Criminology, and a more extensive Campbell Collaboration systematic review—”Mentoring Interventions to Affect Juvenile Delinquency and Associated Problems: A Systematic Review.”

All of the examined studies were high quality (quasi-experimental or randomized experimental) in design. All involved youth at-risk for delinquency based on behavior of the youth or residing in high crime, high poverty communities.

  • Project Team
    Headshot of Patrick H. Tolan
    Patrick H. Tolan Charles S. Robb Professor of Education, Director Emeritus, Youth-Nex | The UVA Center to Promote Effective Youth Development