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Natural Mentors, Social Class, and College Success

Natural Mentors, Social Class, and College Success Natural mentors provide advice, moral support, and assistance to adolescents who aspire to obtain a postsecondary degree, but past studies of the benefits of having an informal adult mentor have yet to resolve several issues. Our analyses of a national sample of high school graduates test three hypotheses: (H1) natural mentoring increases the odds of college attendance and completion, (H2) guidance and career advice are more important for college success than encouragement or role modeling, and (H3) students from poor and working‐class families benefit more from mentoring than students from middle‐ and upper‐class families. Hypotheses 1 and 3 are clearly supported when examining the odds of attending college, while Hypothesis 2 was not supported—encouragement and role modeling boost attendance, not advice or practical help. None of the hypotheses is supported when predicting degree completion among those who matriculated. As natural mentors do not appreciably increase the odds of completing college, we conclude past studies have overstated the postsecondary educational benefits of natural mentors. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Journal of Community Psychology Wiley

Natural Mentors, Social Class, and College Success

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References (67)

Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 Society for Community Research and Action
ISSN
0091-0562
eISSN
1573-2770
DOI
10.1002/ajcp.12209
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Natural mentors provide advice, moral support, and assistance to adolescents who aspire to obtain a postsecondary degree, but past studies of the benefits of having an informal adult mentor have yet to resolve several issues. Our analyses of a national sample of high school graduates test three hypotheses: (H1) natural mentoring increases the odds of college attendance and completion, (H2) guidance and career advice are more important for college success than encouragement or role modeling, and (H3) students from poor and working‐class families benefit more from mentoring than students from middle‐ and upper‐class families. Hypotheses 1 and 3 are clearly supported when examining the odds of attending college, while Hypothesis 2 was not supported—encouragement and role modeling boost attendance, not advice or practical help. None of the hypotheses is supported when predicting degree completion among those who matriculated. As natural mentors do not appreciably increase the odds of completing college, we conclude past studies have overstated the postsecondary educational benefits of natural mentors.

Journal

American Journal of Community PsychologyWiley

Published: Mar 1, 2018

Keywords: ; ; ;

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