Mentoring Program Enhancements Supporting Effective Mentoring of Children of Incarcerated Parents

Father holding toddler daughter
Year Published
Author (Individual)
Stump, K., Kupersmidt, J., Stelter, R., & Rhodes, J.
Author (Organization)
American Journal of Community Psychology
Resource Type
Journal Article
Resource Language

Children of incarcerated parents (COIP) are at risk for a range of negative outcomes; however, participating in a mentoring relationship can be a promising intervention for these youth. This article reports on a study that examined the impact of mentoring and mentoring program enhancements on COIP. Secondary data analyses were conducted on an archival database consisting of 70,729 matches from 216 local agencies of Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) to establish the differential effects of mentoring on COIP. A subset of 45 BBBS agencies, representing 25,252 matches, participated in a telephone interview about program enhancements for better serving COIP. Results revealed that enhanced program practices, including having specific program goals, providing specialized mentor training, and receiving additional funding, resulted in better outcomes for COIP matches. The authors discuss the benefits of a relationship-based intervention for addressing the needs of COIP and offer suggestions for program improvements when mentoring programs are serving this unique population of youth. 

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