Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $289,512)
This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law. The OJJDP Fiscal Year 2018 Mentoring Research Partners Program furthers the Departments mission by supporting evaluation and data collection efforts of federally funded mentoring programs to develop and improve practices designed to prevent and intervene in youth delinquency and crime.
Researchers at Georgia State University Research Foundation, Inc., will partner with the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Atlanta (BGCMA), the third largest Boys & Girls Club in the United States, to advance understanding of the effectiveness of youth group mentoring in a community-based program. This project will support research to inform the design and delivery of group mentoring programs within BGCMA. Findings are expected to further inform the field at-large across juvenile justice and other child-serving systems where youth mentoring is found.
BGCMA has both current and historical data available based on their ongoing data collection with youth. The practitioners are interested in examining the impact of their formal group mentoring program on youth. While BGCMA has shown positive outcomes for youth in such areas as academic achievement, this will be a novel opportunity for their organization to participate in a systematic analysis of their program and data.
This study will have two primary components: Evaluability Assessment and Impact Study. The Evaluability Assessment will support conceptualization of the BGCMA model and illuminate program policy and practice through key informant interviews with mentoring staff and program material review. The Impact Study includes a retrospective data analysis along with qualitative data collection via focus groups with youth and case studies developed through interviews with staff, youth, and caregivers of youth participants. A mixed-methods approach will provide a variety of information and perspectives for the analyses. Key areas of research inquiry include outcomes for youth who receive mentoring compared to those who do not, outcomes for youth who receive mentoring and youth programming at teen centers versus those who receive programming in other types of centers, and outcomes for youth based on length and frequency of participation in mentoring and the duration of mentor-mentee relationships. The researchers will provide a full report of findings to both BGCMA and OJJDP, and will publish results in scholarly journals. CA/NCF