U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Mentoring for Enhancing Educational Attitudes, Beliefs, and Behaviors

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2021
28 pages

This review examines research that addresses the potential influence of mentoring for youth on their educational attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors; it also provides research-based implications for practice for mentors or program staff.


This research review addresses the potential influence of mentoring for youth on their educational attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors (EABBs). The authors suggest that the effects of mentoring on educational attitudes and beliefs were small and inconsistent across studies and forms of mentoring, but that there is evidence that mentoring may potentially influence a range of EABBs, including self-esteem, school connectedness, school engagement, and attitudes toward school. The authors note that the literature provides some insights into how programs and institutions offering mentoring might better support their mentor-mentee relationships, to expand and improve EABB outcomes, and while research on the implementation of those recommendations is limited, outcomes may result in greater positive effect on EABBs. In addition to the formal review of research on mentoring and EABBs, the document includes research-based implications for practice. These practice recommendations focus on actions that mentors or program staff could take to support development of positive EABBs, such as the identification of root causes of negative EABBs, supporting growth mindsets and persistence skills, providing emotional support and encouragement, facilitating referrals to tutoring or other direct academic supports, working collaboratively with parents around academic challenges, and both direct advocacy on behalf of the child within schools and teaching youth to advocate for themselves to address points of disconnection. The document also includes links to relevant resources and training.

Date Published: March 1, 2021