Birds of a feather: Is matching based on shared interests and characteristics associated with longer youth mentoring relationships?

Elizabeth B. Raposa, Adar Ben-Eliyahu, Lauren E.W. Olsho, Jean Rhodes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Youth mentoring practitioners and researchers have shown a growing interest in determining the ways in which mentor–youth matching practices might influence the duration and effectiveness of mentoring relationships. The current project tested whether mentor–youth similarities at baseline, in terms of demographic variables and interests in certain activities (e.g., sports, art), predicted a longer duration of mentoring relationships. Analyses used baseline and follow-up data from over 9,000 youth who participated in community-based mentoring programs in the northeastern United States, as well as their volunteer mentors. Racial and ethnic similarity between mentor and youth was predictive of longer match duration. Moreover, a shared dislike of activities was associated with longer matches than either shared interests or discordant interests in activities. Findings have important implications for determining the ways in which mentor–youth matching practices influence the length and effectiveness of mentoring relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-397
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Community Psychology
Volume47
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge funding from the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Connected Learning and funding and support from MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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