We could not possibly list all the significant studies that document the power of successful mentoring. Here are a few of those studies or reports that use research to guide practice:

State of Mentoring in Illinois

Authors:  Dr. David DuBois, Jennifer Felner, & Brynne O’Neal; 2014

This report summarizes IMP’s own statewide survey of mentoring programs in Illinois, in partnership with UIC’s Institute for Health Research and Policy. The report describes the rich diversity of mentoring programs, many operating with very limited resources, to serve our state’s youth—many of whom are at high risk with substantial needs. The Report also assessed the degree to which current practice is consistent with research-proven benchmarks based on nationally recognized Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring.

The full report and an executive summary are available for download.

The Mentoring Effect: Young People's Perspectives on the Outcomes and Availability of Mentoring

Authors: Mary Bruce, John Bridgeland; 2014

This report, by Civic Enterprises in association Hart Research Associates for MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, reveals a powerful mentoring effect on improved academic, social and economic prospects. Yet one-in-three young people report no connection to a caring adult, with youth at higher risk even less likely to find an informal mentor. 

The Role of Risk: Mentoring Experiences and Outcomes for Youth with Varying Risk Profiles

Authors: Carla Herrera, David L. DuBois, Jean Baldwin Grossman; 2013

Key findings included that high-risk youth experienced similar positive impacts from mentoring as lower-risk youth, including significant reductions in symptoms of depression among mentees, though challenges experienced by mentors were different. Mentors who received early-match training and consistent program support met more frequently and had longer-lasting and higher-quality relationships with their mentees. 

How Effective Are Mentoring Programs for Youth? A Systematic Assessment of the Evidence

Authors: David L. DuBois, Nelson Portillo, Jean E. Rhodes, Naida Silverthorn, and Jeffrey C. Valentine; 2011

A meta-analysis of 73 independent evaluations of mentoring programs directed toward children and adolescents published over the past decade (1999–2010).

Big Brothers/Big Sisters: A Study of Program Practices

Authors: Kathryn Furano, Phoebe A. Roaf, Melanie B. Styles, Alvia Y. Branch. Published by Public/Private Ventures, 1993

Ground-breaking study of Big Brothers Big Sisters that documented for the first time many of the significant impacts of mentoring on positive youth development.

Using Mentoring Research Findings to Build Effective Programs

Authors: Patti MacRae and Michael Garringer with contributions by Dr. Michael Karcher and Dr. Thomas Keller

Collected Training Supplements and Materials from the MRC Web Seminars on Mentoring Research; 2007.


Research in Action Series

Research in Action is an innovative series that highlights the importance of connecting mentoring research to practice and policy to increase the impact of youth mentoring. This groundbreaking product evolved from the work of MENTOR's Research and Policy Council and makes the best available mentoring research accessible and relevant to practitioners, policymakers, and funders alike.

The series contains 10 issues on some of the most pressing topics facing the youth mentoring field. The foundation of each issue is an article written by a leading scholar who summarizes the latest research and offers insight into the implications of that research on mentoring practice. Those implications are then expanded into tools, activities, resources, or training exercises in the Action Series, providing practitioners with a concrete application of the research findings in their everyday operations. Finally, each issue concludes with a list of additional resources on the topic. 

The Research in Action series was funded by a generous grant from MetLife Foundation. 


The Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring

Formed by UMass Boston and MENTOR, the Center aims to create an open and efficient exchange of youth mentoring research among researchers, practitioners, and policymakers, with an ultimate goal of improving the lives of the nation's underserved youth. The Center is dedicated to the advancement of youth mentoring practice and policy.

The Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring is hosted on the University of Massachusetts, Boston’s website for the Center for Evidence Based Mentoring. This Center was established earlier this year in partnership with MENTOR and is dedicated to creating the open and efficient exchange of research and ideas for the advancement of youth mentoring practices and policies.

Meet Our Board

 We are grateful for the experience and expertise our board members contribute to our mentoring programs. Meet the people who make up our Board of Directors

For Programs

 The key to a successful program is having a vast and varied set of resources to help with planning and implementation.  Here you'll find tools and information to help you succeed.

For Mentors

Mentors can make a huge difference in the life of a child.  We want to help you be prepared for a positive mentoring experience by offering you these resources.


We'd like to introduce you to the Corporate and Program Partners who contribute so much to the success of our mentoring programs.  

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Chicago, IL 60603

Phone: 312-881-7767




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