Research & Studies

MENTOR strongly supports taking a critical approach to the task of ensuring that the practice of mentoring is guided by the best available theory and research.

Based upon experience and the limited research that has already been compiled, we know that when done well, youth mentoring holds great promise in helping young people succeed in life. Studies of both well-established programs and newer ones that provide youth with formal one-to-one mentoring relationships have provided strong evidence of their success in reducing the incidence of delinquency, substance use and academic failure. These studies further indicate that formal youth mentoring programs can promote positive outcomes, such as improved self-esteem, social skills and knowledge of career opportunities.

To the extent that research findings are available, they have made a tremendous difference in the mentoring field’s ability to promote mentoring as an effective model for positive youth development. Research also enables mentoring organizations to recruit greater numbers of mentors and attract funders – both private and public.

This section includes prominent mentoring research from a variety of journals and sources to include: research papers, journal articles, publications, MENTOR’s Research Corner articles and MENTOR’s Research in Action series. For ease of use, we have listed the research by content category:

Research In Action Series

Research in Action is an innovative series that highlights the importance of connecting mentoring research to practice and policy to increase the impact of youth mentoring. This groundbreaking product evolved from the work of MENTOR's Research and Policy Council and makes the best available mentoring research accessible and relevant to practitioners, policymakers, and funders alike.

The series contains 10 issues on some of the most pressing topics facing the youth mentoring field. The foundation of each issue is Research-an article written by a leading scholar who summarizes the latest research and offers insight into the implications of that research on mentoring practice. Those implications are then expanded into tools, activities, resources, or training exercises in the Action section, providing practitioners with a concrete application of the research findings in their everyday operations. Finally, each issue concludes with a list of additional Resources on the topic. The Research in Action series can be purchased in its entirety in our Online Store.

The Research in Action series was funded by a generous grant from the MetLife Foundation