Factors Associated with Successful Mentor Matching in an Intervention Study of Youth Violence

Previous studies have proven that youth mentoring interventions reduce adolescent risk behaviors. A recent study featuring PISC Senior Scholar and Internal Advisory Board Member Joel Fein, MD, MPH, evaluated factors associated with successful mentor-mentee matches. The study included 98 adolescents aged 10-15 years, all of whom had recently sustained fight-related injuries. The majority of participants were African-American. Through collaboration with Big Brothers Big Sisters, a community-based mentoring organization, 50% of participants were matched with a mentor. Results indicated higher mentor success rates when participants perceived their initial injury as “very serious” or “somewhat serious.” It is conceivable that, in successful relationships, participants understood the program as a way of preventing future serious injury. Youth perception is a significant factor in creating successful mentor-mentee matches to reduce adolescent risk behaviors.

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