Abstract: Is the Quality of Relationship between Mentor and Mentee Associated with Less Alcohol Use By Mentee? (Society for Prevention Research 27th Annual Meeting)

92 Is the Quality of Relationship between Mentor and Mentee Associated with Less Alcohol Use By Mentee?

Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Pacific D/L (Hyatt Regency San Francisco)
* noted as presenting author
Gereon Fredrickson, BS, Graduate Student, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
Shelley A Haddock, PhD, Associate Professor, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
Kimberly Henry, PhD, Associate Professor, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
Introduction: Adolescent substance misuse is a severe public health concern. Adolescents who misuse substances during early adolescence are more likely to commit crimes, drop out of school, engage in risky sexual behavior, and develop a substance use disorder. Identification of programs, practices, and policies that have the ability to prevent and reduce adolescent substance misuse are needed. Mentoring has been recommended as one such initiative; however, not all mentoring programs are successful. Nearly 50% of all mentoring relationships end prematurely and many do not produce advances in the adolescent’s developmental trajectory. Initiatives to understand the conditions under which mentoring programs have the most benefits for participants are needed.

Methods: The data for this study comes from a mentoring program called Campus Connections (CC). It is hypothesized that adolescents who develop a high-quality relationship with their mentor during the CC program will be less likely to engage in alcohol use compared to youth who develop a low-quality relationship with their mentor. Mentees self-reported their perception of the Mentor Relationship Quality (MRQ) using the Cavell et al. (2009) Mentor Alliance Scale (α = 0.86) at the end of the mentoring program. Mentees also self-reported the number of days in the last 30 days that they used alcohol at baseline and end of program. A negative binomial regression model was used to estimate the association between MRQ and alcohol use at the end of the CC program, controlling for baseline use and a set of confounders (gender, age, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status).

Results: Adjusting for baseline alcohol use and relevant potential confounders, the expected days of alcohol use was 57% lower for each one unit increase in MRQ.

Conclusions: Consistent with prior research, mentor relationship quality is associated with better outcomes for adolescents. While engaging in a mentoring program may be beneficial, having a strong alliance and relationship quality within the dyad appears to be more favorable. Methods to enhance relationship quality are needed, and effective strategies may substantially enhance the effectiveness of mentoring interventions, including reductions in substance use for participating adolescents. Further research could explore specific aspects of the dyadic relationship to determine specific components that influence the mentor relationship quality. Findings may be used to enhance mentoring programs to further reduce alcohol misuse among adolescents.