Research suggests that mentoring programs may promote a range of positive outcomes in youth populations. Less is known, however, about the extent to which such programs are effective in specialized youth populations, such as youth involved in the foster care system.
The current study aimed to investigate the extent to which mentoring interventions promote positive outcomes among youth involved in the foster care system and to systematically explore factors that may moderate the effectiveness of mentoring interventions. Using a multilevel meta-analytic approach, this study estimated the effect size of nine formal mentoring programs in the United States serving youth involved with the foster care system (total n = 55,561). Analyses revealed a small-to-medium-sized overall effect (g = 0.342). Moderator analyses revealed weaker effects for studies containing higher proportions of youth with emotional abuse histories. Programs deploying near-peer mentors were more than twice as effective as intergenerational mentors.
The findings highlight the salience of emotional abuse history, suggesting the utility of providing mentor trainings in trauma-informed care for this population. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)
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