The Effects of Youth Mentoring Programs: A Meta-analysis of Outcome Studies
Formal mentoring programs pair youth mentees with supportive adults to foster positive youth outcomes. While such programs can increase access to supportive services, more research is needed to fully understand its level of effectiveness, and what conditions make it most effective.
The research empirically aggregated data from previous primary studies (a research method called meta-analysis) that report findings on outcomes of formal youth mentoring programs.
Results indicated a medium/moderate effect of formal youth mentoring programs. Results varied based on several factors, with, for example, male-dominated programs and mentors with a helping profession background demonstrating larger effects.
While findings suggest the efficacy of formal youth mentoring programs, the study emphasizes the need for realistic expectations regarding the impact of these programs as they are currently implemented. The research highlights opportunities for enhancing the quality and rigor of mentoring practices and calls for greater precision in defining and assessing outcomes across categories.