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Exploring mentor practices using data from OJJDP’s Mentoring Enhancement Demonstration Program

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Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $200,285)

The applicant proposes a 12-month secondary data analysis study using a uniquely rich dataset from the rigorous study they concluded in 2018 on the Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention-funded Mentoring Enhancement Demonstration Program (MEDP) to examine how mentoring can advance change mechanisms promoting positive youth development. It will address three key research questions: 1) Does mentoring that is responsive and tailored to presenting youth needs in specific domains promote positive change in those domains? 2) Are the effects of responsive and tailored mentoring within specific domains mediated by the development of youth assets and resilience? 3) Can mentor characteristics, program practices, caregiver involvement, and mentor-mentee relationship quality make responsive and tailored mentoring more effective? The applicant and its partners will use path analysis, a statistical modeling approach that incorporates data from multiple measures collected from mentors, youth, and their caregivers. By responding to the measurement and specification needed in the field, this study will contribute to knowledge of evidence-based mentoring strategies that can guide mentoring programs in their practices. By supporting the further analyses of a rich dataset collected previously through OJJDP’s support, NIJ will continue to learn from MEDP and build practitioner and researcher knowledge. The research findings will be shared through multiple venues to broader audiences, including: a webinar for diverse stakeholders, a practitioner-oriented resource, two scholarly publications in peer-reviewed journal articles, a workshop at the 2024 National Mentoring Summit, and a final research report submitted to NIJ. CA/NCF

Date Created: September 8, 2022