Research on MentorPRO Presented at the Society for Prevention Research Annual Meeting

Webinar - Research on MentorPRO Presented at the Society for Prevention Research Annual Meeting

Research on MentorPRO Presented at the Society for Prevention Research Annual Meeting

May 31, 2024 at noon


Symposium title: Task Shifting/Sharing Prevention and Intervention Services within the Context of Youth Mentoring Programs

Date: Thursday, May 30, 2024

Overview: In this symposium, we discussed the promises and challenges of task-shifting and sharing evidence-based preventative interventions to expand access to mental health supports for school-aged children. Giving the growing mental health crisis among youth, teens, and young adults, we need to understand how to expand access to evidence-based, effective services for youth. Task-shifting/sharing involves the strategic redistribution of services from professionals to workers with less training or fewer credentials, in an effort to allow increased access to services for individuals who do not need a very high level of professional support. We were so excited to be part of this symposium, which featured three studies focusing on community- and school-based mentoring programs as contexts for task-shifting/sharing of mental health services. The studies introduced technological advancements in training, supervision, and documentation necessary for safely and effectively transferring services to lay workers, such as mentors.

Symposium Organizer:

Samuel McQuillin, PhD, University of South Carolina


Tim Cavell, PhD, University of Arkansas


1. A Pilot Study of Just-in-Training Videos to Teach Motivational Interviewing (MI) to Youth Mentors

Presenters: Mackenzie Hart, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and Alena Quinn, doctoral student, University of South Carolina

Overview: This pilot randomized trial (N=63) examines the efficacy of just-in-time training videos (<5 min) designed to improve MI knowledge, attitudes, and skills among volunteer school-based mentors. Results indicate moderate effect sizes (Cohen’s d between .58 and .61) on various outcomes.

2. Leveraging Technology to Increase College Students’ Access to Support Services

Presenter: Alexandra Werntz, PhD, Associate Director at the Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring at UMass Boston, University of Massachusetts at Boston

Overview: This large-scale quasi-experiment (N=2,572) investigates the impact of a technology-enhanced mentoring platform (MentorPRO) on first-year undergraduate students. Findings suggest that engagement with MentorPRO (through self-monitoring and messaging with mentors) predicts positive academic and well-being outcomes.

3. Promising Practices for Coordinating Services between School-Based and Out-of-School Time Providers

Presenter: Mike Lyons, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Virginia

Overview: This study presents qualitative results from 59 semi-structured interviews exploring equity-focused mental health and educational practices in Outside of School Time (OST) programming. Themes highlight the potential of OST programs to reduce educational and mental health inequities.