University at Albany

Understanding Parent Engagement to Enhance Mentoring Outcomes

This study is a collaborative effort between CHSR researchers and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Capital Region. It is being funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

Evaluation & Research

While there is evidence that parent involvement is critical to the success of many intervention programs designed for at-risk youth, it is often an overlooked component in mentoring programs. This study fills a research gap by rigorously evaluating a parent engagement model incorporated in an established mentoring program. The intervention will be implemented by Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region (BBBSCR) which serves youth in four upstate New York counties. Nearly 98% of BBBSCR youth come from low-income or single parent homes, and 34% have an incarcerated parent. CHSR will utilize a quasi-experimental design to evaluate the model. The study will assign 100 families who enroll in the mentoring program to a parent engagement intervention which consists of the usual mentoring program plus a parent orientation training, a parent handbook, enhanced match support, and the opportunity to participate in family events. Their outcomes will be compared to a treatment-as-usual group of 100 families who will receive only standard mentoring services. The demonstration will measure the effects of the parent engagement model on increasing parental support of mentoring, enhancing the mentoring relationship (quality, intensity, and duration), and reducing precursors to juvenile delinquency.

Contact: Dr. Lara Kaye