Restricted Research - Award List, Note/Discussion Page

Fiscal Year: 2014

2056  The University of Texas at San Antonio  (23616)

Principal Investigator: Karcher, Michael

Total Amount of Contract, Award, or Gift (Annual before 2011): $ 297,583

Exceeds $250,000 (Is it flagged?): Yes

Start and End Dates: 10/1/13 <> 9/30/14

Restricted Research: YES


Department, Center, School, or Institute: none

Title of Contract, Award, or Gift: Ten and 40 years after mentoring: Longitudinal analyses of relationship and developmental processes as moderators of outcomes in two experimental studies

Name of Granting or Contracting Agency/Entity: Department of Justice

Program Title: none
CFDA Linked: Juvenile Mentoring Program


The short-term effectiveness of community- and school-based youth mentoring for preventing delinquency and dropout is well documented. The field now needs research on best practices in mentoring in order to encourage their use. One best practice identified by DuBois and colleagues in 2002 is the use of structured activities. Yet we know little about how specific mentoring interactions contribute to program outcomes. Early intervention research (that included a mentoring component) revealed negative long-term outcomes—following early post-intervention reports of positive outcome—were linked to specific peer processes at play in the program. In youth mentoring we also must assess the long-term effects of youth mentoring on reducing criminality in adulthood and differentiate helpful and harmful mentoring interactions. The goals of this study are to (a) test theory-driven hypothesizes about the most appropriate mentoring interactions for children versus adolescents and (b) to examine the degree to which early reports of both iatrogenic/harmful as well as positive programmatic outcomes reported in prior research have persisted 10 and 40 years later. Building on two unique datasets of youth mentoring programs (Goodman, 1972; Karcher, 2008), this study proposes the re-analysis of original data and the collection of additional long-term follow up data on adult criminality (at 40 and 10 years post intervention) to estimate the relationship between particular mentoring interactions and long-term outcomes. These two datasets are unique in the study of youth mentoring in three ways. First, neither study used the waitlist comparison group approach so common in large-scale youth mentoring evaluations (which nullify or preclude longitudinal follow-ups). Both studies employed non-treatment control groups which allow true experimental tests of long-term impacts. Second, both studies collected weekly activity logs from over 500 mentors. The data from these logs allow tests of the relationships between specific mentoring interactions and immediate, intermediate, and long-term outcomes. Third, in both studies, the data were collected at four or more points in time (pre, mid, post, and early follow-up) over a two-year period. These repeated measurements of participants allow (a) better estimation of missing data, (b) more reliable tests of immediate and long-term outcomes, and greater statistical power than the more common pre-post comparisons. For these reasons, the re-analysis and a longitudinal follow-up on these two datasets provides a unique opportunity both to examine the long-term impact of school and community-based mentoring on adult criminality and to better understand which mentoring activities contribute to these long-term outcomes.

Discussion: No discussion notes


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