Date of Award

12-1-2015

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Cashel, Mary Louise

Abstract

The purpose of the current study was to investigate the relationships between natural mentoring and youth academic achievement, attitudes towards school, and psychological well-being in a cross cultural sample of adolescents. It also sought to investigate whether it is the quality of the mentoring relationship and not simply the categorical presence of a natural mentor that is associated with positive youth outcomes. This study also examined the reliability and validity of the RHI-Y-M. Participants (n = 62) were recruited from two schools in rural Southern Illinois. Youth were asked to complete a survey packet of self-report questionnaires that included measures of attitudes towards school, life satisfaction, stress, and depression. The primary hypotheses were not supported. However, the RHI-Y-M demonstrated good reliability and concurrent validity. Limitations with regards to data collection and statistical power are discussed. The majority of youth identified natural mentors, and there was a significant association between the mentoring relationship and life satisfaction. These findings have implications for community and intervention programs involving youth.

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