Mentors' experiences of mentoring justice-involved adolescents: A narrative of developing cultural consciousness through connection

Jacquelynn F. Duron, Abigail Williams-Butler, Adam T. Schmidt, Leslie Colon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Mentoring provides a relational intervention that can promote positive youth development among adolescents who are involved in the juvenile justice system. The perspectives of mentors engaging these youth, particularly insights considered through a cultural humility lens, have been largely absent from the literature to date. This study examined predominately White, middle- to upper-class adult mentors' experiences mentoring racially diverse, working-class youth. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were completed with 23 mentors participating in a community-based mentoring program. Themes were derived from inductive content analysis. Emergent themes illustrative of the mentoring process included (a) establishing a connection despite differences, (b) identifying mentees' personal and environmental challenges, and (c) raising consciousness around structural issues. Despite coming from different backgrounds and experiences, mentors who worked with justice-involved adolescents were motivated to connect with their mentees. Mentors developed a greater awareness of structural challenges influencing adolescents by learning about the multifaceted experiences and needs of their mentees.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2309-2325
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Community Psychology
Volume48
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

Keywords

  • community-based mentoring
  • cultural humility
  • justice-involved youth
  • mentor
  • qualitative

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