Mentoring Research – Proven Success

Mentoring has been proven over and over again for decades to be a strategy that changes lives.

Research confirms what we know anecdotally or intuitively — that mentoring works.

The 2013 study “The Role of Risk: Mentoring Experiences and Outcomes for Youth with Varying Risk Profiles,” examined mentoring program relationships, experiences and benefits for higher-risk youth, and among the findings determined:

  • The strongest program benefit, and most consistent across risk groups, was a reduction in depressive symptoms.
  • Findings also suggested gains in social acceptance, academic attitudes and grades.
  • In addition to benefits in specific domains, mentored youth also experienced gains in a greater number of outcomes than youth in the comparison group.

Overall, the study’s results suggest that mentoring programs can be beneficial for youth with a broad range of backgrounds and characteristics. Tailoring the training and support that is available to matches based on the specific risks youth face has the potential to produce even stronger benefits.

A number of studies have revealed a correlation between a young person’s involvement in a quality mentoring relationship, and positive outcomes in the areas of school, mental health, problem behavior and health (DuBois & Karcher, 2005; Rhodes, 2002; Zimmerman, Bingenheimer & Behrendt, 2005).

Research indicates that youth involved in the juvenile justice system, and facing considerable life challenges, are most likely to benefit from a strong mentoring relationship. Studies show that mentoring reduces recidivism, increases pro-social activities, and increased connections to school and vocation.

Evidence-based Mentoring


Civil Rights and Youth Mentoring