Youth Initiated Mentoring: A Meta-analytic Study of a Hybrid Approach to Youth Mentoring
Youth-Initiated Mentoring (YIM) is a mentoring approach that empowers mentees to identify and recruit natural mentors within their existing social networks. This method aims to target the benefits of informal mentorships while maintaining the structure and support of formal mentoring programs. This study aims to evaluate the relationship between YIM programs and various mentees outcomes.
The authors conducted a a three-level meta-analytic approach (using findings from previous evaluations) to estimate the effects of YIM on youth mentees.
Findings revealed that YIM programs are significantly related to various positive mentee outcomes with an overall effect of g = 0.30. Analyses suggested that the effects might actually be greater (g = 0.40) when accounting for potential bias. Participant gender also influenced effects.
The findings highlight the potential of YIM as a low-cost preventive intervention for supporting youth, especially for those who are typically disadvantaged with limited social capital. By allowing youth to identify and cultivate relationships with natural mentors from their existing networks, YIM offers a promising alternative to traditional mentoring models. The study emphasizes the need for further research to understand the conditions under which YIM can lead to the most positive outcomes.