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Home > Relational dynamics in youth mentoring: a mixed-methods study.

Silke, Charlotte and Brady, Bernadine and Dolan, Pat (2019) Relational dynamics in youth mentoring: a mixed-methods study. Galway: UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, National University of Ireland Galway.

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The aim of youth mentoring relationships is ‘to create a supportive social bond between a young person and an adult in which trust and closeness can develop and the adult can help the young person to cope and develop to the best of his or her abilities’ (Dolan and Brady, 2011: 128). Evaluations of mentoring programmes provide evidence to suggest that involvement in youth mentoring relationships can result in benefits for young people in a range of areas, including emotional well-being, reduced delinquency, education, and social connectedness.

This report details the findings from a narrative literature review which summarises the research evidence in relation to youth mentoring programmes. This review also discusses the role that the mentoring relationship and other relationship dynamics exert on the effectiveness of such mentoring programmes. It then details the methodological approaches undertaken by the original BBBS evaluation study (Dolan et al., 2011a), and highlights the quantitative and qualitative approaches undertaken in the current study. The findings from the secondary analysis of quantitative data are then presented and discussed, followed by the qualitative findings. The report concludes by discussing the implications of these findings and makes recommendations for future policy and practice initiatives.

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