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Investigation of Long-Term Effects of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Community-Based Mentoring Program: Final Technical Report for OJJDP

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2018
55 pages
This report presents the findings to date and methodology of a long-term follow-up of participants in one of the largest and most influential mentoring evaluations to date, i.e., the Public/Private Ventures' 1995 randomized controlled impact study of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBS) community-based mentoring program.
For the 1,138 participants in that study, the current study collected data on post-secondary education participation and arrests during adulthood. An effort was made to contact as many of the original sample as possible for completion of a survey that solicited information on adult outcomes in the areas of employment, problem behavior/justice system involvement, various aspects of social-emotional well-being and health, juvenile justice system involvement, and mentoring relationships (if any) through the BBBS Program. At the time of this report's completion, 296 participants from the original sample of 1,138 responded to the survey. For a portion of additional participants, information was obtained about match history (whether the participant was matched with a BBBS at any time, including the years following the original study). If so, how long the relationship lasted. Overall, data analysis to date provide preliminary evidence that one-to-one community-based mentoring relationships between youth and adult volunteer mentors established through BBBS agencies can be of enduring benefit to youth as they transition into adulthood. Differences are noted among sub-groups within the sample. Outcomes for which benefits are evident extend across multiple domains, including education/academics, problem behavior, social-emotional functioning, and health. The magnitude of these associations is either comparable to or greater than those reported in the relevant literature on shorter term effects of mentoring. Efforts of this study to obtain adult survey data will continue. 1 table, 1 figure, and 46 references

Date Published: January 1, 2018