How Mentor Support Interacts With Mother and Teacher Support in Predicting Youth Academic Adjustment: An Investigation Among Youth Exposed to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada Programs
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This study examines three potential contributions (i.e., additive only, hierarchical compensatory, and hierarchical conditional) of mentor support to youth academic adjustment, taking into account interactions with support from mothers and teachers. We derived data from a larger study of the Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Canada community mentoring program. The sample included 427 youth (average age 9.8 years; 64% girls, 56% White) who received one-to-one community-based mentoring for at least three months. We assessed perceptions of support from mothers and teachers before the match and assessed perceptions of support from mentors five times throughout the mentoring experience. Hierarchical linear regression analyses showed that mentor support predicted positive changes in youth academic adjustment (i.e., school attitude, academic self-efficacy, assistance seeking, and problem solving) mainly when mentees already reported high support from their mother. This finding clearly supports the conditional model and invites researchers to question the assumption that mentoring constitutes a corrective experience for young people (i.e., the compensatory model). BBBS agencies are strongly encouraged to involve parents in the mentoring process and to view them as experts, assets, and allies in their effort to meet the youth's needs.
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