Family Relationships & Respect

Mentoring helps youth gain proper perspective of home life, parents, and other adults surrounding them. Instead of pulling a kid away from home or turning a child against family – mentors reinforce the positive values of the system they reside in and help build hope, boundaries, relational skills, and resilience to influence and impact longterm.


“Mentored youth indicated improved family relations, measured by gains in trust between parent and child during the study period.”

—Mentoring Initiatives: An Overview of Youth Mentoring, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, http://www.nationalfamilies.org/parents/mentor.pdf


“Mentors may bolster the protective effects of parental relationships, which are often strained among youth who are referred to relationship-based interventions (Freedman, 1995,; Styles & Morrow, 1995; Tierney, Grossman, & Resch, 1995)… Mentors may challenge negative views that adolescents hold of themselves or of relationships with adults and demonstrate that positive caring relationships with adults are possible. The helping relationship can thus become a “corrective experience” for those adolescents who may have experienced unsatisfactory relationships with their parents (Olds, Kitzman, Cole & Robinson, 1997). This experience can then generalize, thereby enabling adolescents to perceive their proximal relationships as more forthcoming and helpful (Coble, Gantt, & Mallinckrodt, 1996; Fairburn, 1952; Main, Kaplan & Cassidy, 1985).”

—Agents of Change: Pathway through Which Mentoring Relationships Influence Adolescents’ Academic Adjustment, Rhodes, Grossman, Resch (2000), http://umbmentoring.org/downloads/agents.pdf

Connection between adults and youth will always experience some challenges, but a strong society is one that garners positive attitudes between all generations. Gaining the wisdom and knowledge of our elders helps build a strong future. The new ideas and high energy of our young inspire new possibilities and a refreshing of spirits. Both bring hope and joy to a world full of challenges.

“…benefits of mentoring relationships have been indicated to accrue in part through improvements in youths’ perceptions of their parental relationships as well as their relationships with peers and other adults in their social networks (Rhodes, Reddy, & Grossman, 2005; Rhodes et al., 2000).”

—Mentoring Relationships and Programs for Youth, Rhodes & DuBois, http://www.rhodeslab.org/files/RHODESDUBOISCURRENTDIRECTIONS.pdf


“Mentoring relationships… provide additional support for this process. For example, after intensively examining mentoring relationships, styles and Morrow (1995) concluded that it was the experience of a trusting and consistently supportive mentor relationship, as opposed to a mentor’s focus on specific goals, that predicted better outcomes among youth. They provided numerous examples of adolescents who developed emotional bonds with their mentors and then gradually began to experience more positive, trusting interactions with their parents and peers…Adolescents with mentors tend to report more satisfying relationships with their parents and other close providers (Hamilton & Darling, 1996; Rhodes, Contreras, & Manglesdorf, 1994).” – Agents of Change: Pathway through Which Mentoring Relationships Influence Adolescents’ Academic Adjustment, Rhodes, Grossman, Resch (2000) http://umbmentoring.org/downloads/agents.pdf
“1) Some features of contemporary society limit YOUNG PEOPLE’S ACCESS TO ADULTS: the growing isolation of many youth in poor communities; high rates of divorce and single parenting; and, in some communities, few institutions and activities to support youth and their families. 2) Youth who experienced unsatisfactory or rejecting parental relationships may develop fears and doubts about whether others will accept and support them – FEAR AND DOUBTS THAT A SUCCESSFUL MENTORING EXPERIENCE MAY ALLAY (Bowlby, 1982). 3) Even youth with strong positive parental relationships experience the typical ‘stress and storm’ of adolescence and may potentially BENEFIT FROM THE SUPPORT OF ANOTHER CARING, CONCERNED ADULT.”

—Mentoring Programs and Youth Development: A Synthesis, Edna McConnell Clark Foundation


“Although there is no substitute for a deeply caring parent, young people can still thrive if some responsible person or group steps in to meet their needs.”

—Great Transitions: Preparing Adolescents for a New Century, Carnegie Corporation of new York, 1996, http://carnegie.org/fileadmin/Media/Publications/PDF/GREAT%20TRANSITIONS.pdf


“Whenever possible, involving parents also seems to increase effectiveness. Improvements in parental relationships were found to mediate positive effects on self-worth, school value, and grades for BBBS youth (Rhodes, Grossman, & Resch, 2000)”

—A Review of Mentoring Studies and Websites: A Report for the Melissa Institute for the Prevention and Treatment of Violence – Hayashi and O’Donnell, U of Hawaii, http://www.melissainstitute.org/documents/TMI_Mentoring_Report51-2.pdf