What’s new with mentoring?

Hello from the research rock I currently live under!

I have spent a large portion of my time so far compiling and analyzing all of the previous studies that have looked at the Add Health data. Many of these studies were conducted with a very specific sample such as foster children, sexual minority youth and at-risk youth. For my thesis, I will be looking at a sample size similar to McDonald et al., 2014. In addition, none of the current research looks at the effects of mentoring in conjunction with one’s perception of mentoring.

I have also gathered all of the questions and codebooks from the original Add Health study. Sifting through that will keep me pretty busy for the new few weeks!

While I am looking at studies with both formal and natural mentors, I will be focusing on natural mentors for my thesis. I have learned that there are many benefits of natural mentors, especially for adolescents. Want to know what they are? Stay tuned for another update!


  1. Hi Mary!

    Your project sounds very interesting, and I’m excited to see how it comes together over the next few months! Is there any specific definition of “natural mentors” that you’re using in your research? I’m wondering if this relationship has to be acknowledged as a mentor-mentee relationship, or how people come to perceive it as such, if it was not established through a formal mentorship program. Also, have you looked at how formal and natural mentorships differ in their benefits? I would be interested to know if one or the other is more successful or beneficial to one or the other. I would also recommend reading Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi. It’s kind of a long read and the author gets pretty arrogant at times (in my opinion), but the chapters on mentorship, both formal and informal, may be useful for your research!


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