Composition Matters: Multi-Context Informal Mentoring Networks for Low-Income Urban Adolescent Girls Pursuing Healthcare Careers

From Section:
Mentoring & Supervision
May. 19, 2009

Source: Mentoring and Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, Volume 17, Issue 2, pages 187 - 200 (May 2009).

In the career research literature focused on adults, diversely composed mentoring networks are advocated due to their effectiveness in providing a wide range of mentoring functions. This study examines the composition of informal mentoring networks utilized by low-income urban adolescent girls with healthcare college and career aspirations. 60 ethnically diverse students in their third year of secondary school were included in this study. These students participated in a survey about their future educational and career plans and the persons providing support for their future plans.
The number of mentoring sources and the number of contexts from which mentoring was derived were both positively associated with the number of mentoring functions (i.e., receiving both socio-emotional and instrumental functions, more comprehensive array of instrumental mentoring functions). Results suggest that diversely composed, or multi-context, informal mentoring networks are effective in supporting adolescents in their educational and career pursuits. Implications for future research and programming that bridge home and school contexts are discussed.

Updated: Jan. 17, 2017
Adolescents | Ethnic diversity | Mentoring | Mentors | Network | Socially disadvantaged populations