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Cognitive Behavioral Mentoring: Investigation of Research-Informed Enhancements to Program Practices

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Past Project Period End Date
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)
Original Solicitation

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $249,995)

Research has identified both mentoring and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as effective delinquency prevention and intervention approaches. Yet, limited inquiry has been conducted to identify the extent to which CST-infused enhancements to mentor programming can make a difference in the lives of high-risk youth. To develop new knowledge in this area, American Institutes for Research will partner with YMCA's Reach & Rise program to evaluate the implementation and impact of CBT enhancements including pre-match training modules for mentors on CBT techniques, strategies for augmenting the youth's growth (i.e., case management) plan, mentor-support targeted "check-in" tools, and a CBT parent education and support component. The project's goal is to rigorously evaluate (1) the effects of the enhancements of mentoring relationship quality and youth outcomes, including the prevention of delinquency and juvenile justice involvement and how and for whom these benefits are yielded; (2)implementation of the enhancements; and (3) costs of the enhancements relative to their benefits. The study will deepen understanding of how to more effectively leverage and bring to scale innovative techniques that better equip mentoring to meet the needs of high-risk youth, preventing future system involvement.

The Practitioner-Researcher Partnership in Cognitive Behavioral Mentoring Program will support the development, implementation, and evaluation of innovative mentoring approaches for youth at high risk for delinquency/juvenile and criminal justice involvement or victimization and trauma. These mentoring approaches must incorporate practices that are informed by research on cognitive behavioral interventions and techniques. The program will fund a partnership between a practitioner/service provider and an evaluator/researcher.


Date Created: September 27, 2016