Closure: Curriculum

The Research

Youth mentoring research suggests that failing to provide some sort of resolution or closure process at the end of a relationship can be particularly damaging for mentees who’ve been let down by other relationships with adults. These youth are more likely to become vulnerable to negative feelings resulting from poor relationship endings. Without a supported closure process, youth may internalize negative feelings like abandonment, fear, or confusion (Spencer, 2007).   

Sadly, about a third to half of all youth mentoring relationships end prematurely. This is problematic beyond unmet expectations set for youth and families—youth involved in mentoring relationships that end early show decreases in self-worth and academic self-efficacy (Grossman & Rhodes, 2002).

girl holding a paper

Tips from Experts

An appropriately timed closure process is key for effectively closing a youth mentoring relationship. Even under non-ideal or unexpected circumstances, healthy closure provides mentees with an opportunity to reflect on their experience.


  • Be clear and honest
  • Keep it positive!
  • Develop appropriate and realistic plans for continued communication


  • Develop a policy and process for managing both anticipated and unanticipated closures
  • Use tools to support the closure process
    • Exit interviews
    • Formal closure agreement
    • Continued contact form (when necessary)

Next Steps

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