For this study, we utilized CC data over 6 semesters (Fall 2015 – Spring 2018, N = 732). We fit a series of path analyses to test our mediational hypotheses. We identified relationship skills, self-awareness, and social awareness as important predictors to positive mentorship outcomes. Our results were consistent with our hypothesis. Specifically, youths who entered CC with higher relationship skills were more likely to develop good alliance with mentors, and in turn, youths who developed more alliance with their mentors reported a greater sense of belonging to the program and a greater sense that they mattered to others in the program. Additionally, youths with higher relationship skills reported greater connection to other mentors and mentees in their mentor family, and thus, reported a higher degree of belonging and mattering in the program. Interestingly, a mentee’s self-awareness was crucial for a one-to-one connection with their mentor, while mentee’s social awareness was significantly indicative of cohesiveness in the mentor family.
These results have important implications for mentorship programs. Our findings suggest that mentees with poor relationship skills, self-awareness, and social awareness may struggle to develop relationships with others in the program. Initiatives to help mentees with deficits build their skills before the start of the program may help affected youths realize greater benefits from a mentoring program. Alternatively, providing mentors with training to help mentees with poor initial skills build their skillset may be important. These are important questions for future research.