Date Approved

11-13-2016

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Teacher Education

Committee Member

Alane Starko, Ph.D., Chair

Committee Member

Robert Carpenter, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Sylvia Jones, Ph.D.

Abstract

School-based mentoring is a popular but relatively unstudied support intervention for students entering middle school. Mentoring research more generally reveals that relationship quality between student and mentor is foundational for achieving positive student outcomes. Using a quasi-experimental pretest-posttest design, the 20/20 Vision Project explored mentoring relationship quality and student outcomes for a group of 15 fifth and sixth grade students at an intermediate school in the upper Midwest. Students and mentors were matched in developmental relationships that focused on building developmental assets over the course of one school semester. Matched pairs met for 40 minutes, one time per week for 13 weeks. Mentoring pairs spent time using an asset-focused activity curriculum, playing games, doing crafts, and talking. Student outcomes were measured using the Developmental Assets Profile (DAP) as well as comparing mentored versus non-mentored students on office disciplinary referrals (ODRs). Mentoring relationship quality was assessed from both the student and mentor perspective at one month and again at three months using survey data. Bivariate linear regressions showed statistically significant relationships between student satisfaction with mentoring and increases in posttest DAP scores. A Poisson regression showed a statistically insignificant relationship between increases in DAP scores and decreases in ODRs for both mentored and non-mentored students. Finally, statistically significant differences were found between mentored and non-mentored students on select posttest DAP scores when controlling for pretest scores. The impacts of strong mentoring relationships and increases in developmental assets for middle school students are discussed.

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