of the Handbook
During the past
decade, mentoring of youth has become an immensely popular and widespread
concept. There are now more than 4,500 agencies and programs that offer
mentoring services in the U.S. alone as well as a rapidly growing presence
of mentoring initiatives in other countries. Reflecting these trends,
recent national survey found that approximately 2.5 million
adults (1.2% of those surveyed) had provided one-to-one mentoring to
a young person in a formal mentoring program. A much larger number,
approximately one-third (34%) of all adults, reported that they have
mentored a young person in the past year when less structured avenues
for mentoring were considered. As this latter trend indicates, so-called
naturally-occurring mentoring relationships that take root outside of
formal programs are commonplace in today's society.
The research literature on youth mentoring, although still in an early
stage of development, has burgeoned in size in the past decade. For
theory, research, and the practice of youth mentoring to truly advance,
there needs to be a critical assessment and integration of the field’s
accumulated knowledge. The Handbook of Youth Mentoring©
is designed to address this need. The Handbook is intended to be a valuable
resource across the wide range of academic disciplines in which there
are active programs of research on youth mentoring. The handbook also
is designed to address the needs of professionals, such as program administrators
and policy makers. This will be accomplished through an accessible,
non-technical style of presentation and detailed discussions of implications
The body of the handbook is divided into seven sections. The sections
are arranged so that readers are first presented with an historical
overview of mentoring, conceptual frameworks for understanding mentoring
as it is currently practiced in the U.S. and elsewhere, and perspectives
on mentoring relationships and their role within youth and adult development.
Next, a section is devoted to differing types of formal mentoring programs
and their effectiveness. Further sections consider the different contexts
in which mentoring occurs and issues involved with mentoring different
youth populations. The handbook concludes with an examination of policy
issues related to youth mentoring. The sections and their titles are
Part I, Concepts, Foundations, and Frameworks, includes an historical
overview of mentoring, conceptual models of how mentoring works, and
frameworks for classifying its many variations.
Part II, Mentoring Relationships, focuses on the nature and stages of
mentoring relationships and on methods for assessing and understanding
relationships. Specific attention is given to both naturally-occurring
mentoring relationships and cultural issues in mentoring ties.
Part III, Developmental Perspectives, includes an overview of the role
of developmental theory and research in youth mentoring. Attention is
given to the issues involved in mentoring youth at specific ages as
well as to the effects that serving as a mentor has on adults.
Part IV, Formal Mentoring Programs, addresses practical issues involved
in implementing mentoring programs as well as their effectiveness in
promoting positive youth development. Specific types of programs and
the integration of mentoring into multi-component interventions also
Part V, Contexts
of Mentoring, addresses mentoring programs and mentoring relationships
in specific types of settings, such as in schools, workplaces, afterschool
programs, and religious organizations. Mentoring in the context of differing
countries and cultures also is considered.
Part VI, Special Populations, addresses the mentoring of specific populations
of youth. Separate chapters are devoted to mentoring with juvenile offenders,
pregnant teens, gifted and talented students, youth academically at-risk,
youth with histories of abuse or neglect, and youth with disabilities.
Part VII, Policy Issues, considers the relationship between youth mentoring
and public policy, both in the U.S. and abroad.
© 2003 Michael
J. Karcher, David L. DuBois, and Sage Publications. Any requests to
use information from the web site, the book, or content intended for
publication in the Handbook should be directed to the Contracts Administration
department of Sage Publications, attention Sarah Roushan. All rights