University at Albany

Understanding Parent Engagement to Enhance Mentoring Outcomes

This study was a collaborative effort between CHSR researchers and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Capital Region. It wasfunded 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 filled a research gap by rigorously evaluating a parent engagement model incorporated in an established mentoring program. The intervention was 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 utilized a quasi-experimental design to evaluate the model. The study assigned 100 families who enrolled in the mentoring program to a parent engagement intervention which consisted 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 were compared to a treatment-as-usual group of 100 families who received only standard mentoring services. The demonstration measured 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: Rose Greene