WWC review of this study

The Effects of Developmental Mentoring and High School Mentors' Attendance on Their Younger Mentees' Self-Esteem, Social Skills, and Connectedness

Karcher, Michael J. (2005). Psychology in the Schools, v42 n1 p65-77. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ761792

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
    , grades

Reviewed: December 2016

No statistically significant positive
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Self-concept outcomes—Indeterminate effect found for the domain
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
Significant? Improvement

Harter self-perception scale

Cross-age Peer Mentoring vs. Business as usual

6 Months

Full sample;
44 students





Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.

  • Female: 44%
    Male: 56%


The setting of the study was one middle school site in the United States that paired with a high school site, so that students in grades 8-12 could mentor fourth and fifth graders at the middle school site for a six-month period.

Study sample

The intervention group was comprised of 64% male and 36% female. 52% of the students were considered high risk. The comparison group was comprised of 50% were male and 50% female. Mentors included 39% male and 41% female high school students. Mentors were in grades 8 - 12. One mentor was biracial, one was Hispanic, and the remainder were Caucasian. No other demographic information was reported.

Intervention Group

In the developmental mentoring program high school students act as mentors to elementary school students. The mentoring took place on a one-to-one group format and was held twice a week. Meetings took place after school and lasted two hours. Mentees and mentor pairs were self-selected after a six-hour orientation session. Most mentees received their first or second choice mentor. The meetings started off with a group connectedness activity, a snack, and a group game or recreational activity. Mentors and mentees were paired for most of the meetings, but if one in the pair was absent, because of the group format, the other could continue to participate. Mentors followed a connectedness curriculum. Mentees conducted activities such as teacher interviews and reading and role playing stories from moral dilemma books. There was also a monthly Saturday event in which parents and families could join. These events included such activities as picnics, trips to the zoo, and other recreational activities that promote parent-chid interactions. The intervention included 48 after-school meetings, 6 Saturday events, with a total of 144 contact hours.

Comparison Group

The comparison group has business-as-usual after school program without the assignment of an older peer mentor, and the opportunity to participate in an alternative treatment program (tutoring that did not begin until after the present study was finished).

Support for implementation

The developmental mentoring program is an after-school program funded. It is a six-month program was derived from a two-year connectedness curriculum. Mentees and mentors self-select during a six-hour orientation session. Mentors received eight hours of training and also participate in two hours of monthly supervision. The mentoring relationships were supervised by a teacher or school counselor on-site. The program was structured such that activities for each session are outlined in advance, and parents are involved through take-home activities and bimonthly Saturday events.


Your export should download shortly as a zip archive.

This download will include data files for study and findings review data and a data dictionary.

Connect With the WWC

back to top