Birds of a feather: Is matching based on shared interests and characteristics associated with longer youth mentoring relationships?
Length of mentor-mentee match may influence mentee outcomes, some studies demonstrating negative consequences, suggesting the need for programs to find ways to increase the likelihood of long-lasting mentoring relationships. In response, this study investigates the influence of mentor-youth similarities on the duration of mentoring relationships.
The research utilized data from over 9,000 youth mentees participating in community-based mentoring programs in the northeastern United States and their mentors. The study assessed mentor-youth similarities in terms of demographic variables and interests in certain activities. The length of the mentoring relationship and reasons for match closure were the primary outcomes.
The findings indicated that mentor-mentee racial and ethnic similarity related to longer-lasting mentoring matches. Interestingly, a shared dislike of activities was also associated with longer matches.
The study’s results emphasize the importance of considering mentor-youth similarities when forming mentoring pairs. While racial and ethnic similarities play a role in match duration, shared dislikes in activities may also contribute to longer-lasting relationships. These insights can guide mentoring programs in refining their matching practices to enhance the effectiveness and longevity of mentoring relationships.